We are committed to building a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive organization as part of a broader conservation movement that empowers people of color, frontline communities, and those who have historically carried the burdens of environmental injustice.
All Coloradans — regardless of race, color, gender or income — deserve a healthy environment to live in. But the burden of pollution is not evenly shared.
Communities of color and lower-income communities continue to bear the highest environmental risks. We are working to address this inequity by incorporating racial and environmental justice into everything we do.
What We Do
We’re on a journey to become a more equitable and just organization with the understanding that to make progress, we need to embrace environmental and racial justice principles at every level of our work.
Here’s a sample of our work to advance racial and environmental justice:
Reflecting on our organizational structures and policies
We have recurring discussions on how to be a more equitable organization. As a result of these discussions, we’ve created a paid internship program and diversified the job posting outlets we use.
We assess staff awareness about our equity work and goals through internal surveys. Results from these surveys help us understand what we need to improve on when it comes to equity principles.
Improving Our Hiring Procedures
We recognize that the best way to advance our equity work is to hire people who share our commitment, which is why we only consider a diverse candidate pool prior to interviewing.
Participating in an Equity, Inclusion And Justice Cohort
We are thrilled to join nine other organizations across the nation to participate in the first-ever Environment and Equity Leadership Cohort funded by the Hewlett Foundation. With this peer network of leaders, we will embark on a year of in-person workshops, webinars, conference calls, readings, and organizational coaching to better inform our equity work.
Engaging in internal learning and dialogue
Over the past four years, we worked with professional equity consultants to create and implement training for staff to learn more about equity principles including a shared understanding of concepts around implicit bias, privilege & power, white supremacy, and being an ally or accomplice.
Each new staff member undergoes an initial equity training within their first 60 days of hiring to understand the role of environmental justice in our work.
In 2018 we worked with consultants to engage in racial caucusing to create a safe space for staff to have difficult but necessary conversations about racism and discrimination and heal from injustice.
Advancing Racial Justice
As part of our ongoing efforts to continuously learn and grow, we formed an Advancing Racial Justice Committee comprised of six to ten staff who meet once a month to develop tools and protocols to combat racism and promote justice throughout our organization. Our most recent work includes the creation of a racial oppression policy and accessibility guidelines for events.
Incorporating justice values throughout our programs
We have an ongoing dialogue about how to make environmental justice a part of everything we do.
We regularly examine our programmatic work to ensure that environmental justice is a key component.
Cultivating leadership in frontline communities
Our Protégete program helps build a more powerful voice for Latinx communities and other frontline communities by providing the knowledge and skills to mobilize and hold our elected officials accountable.
We’re using our position as a conservation leader to help amplify diverse voices in the conservation movement. For example, we brought women of color and outdoor enthusiasts together to run a workshop for public lands advocacy.
Although we have made considerable progress in advancing justice, we still have a long way to go. As we work to move forward together, Conservation Colorado is committed to building a more equitable and just conservation future.
Drawing: Ricardo Levins Morales, scratchboard, ink, and watercolor.
We recognize that to be a truly equitable and inclusive organization and conservation leader, we must overcome the racist and discriminatory history that has plagued the environmental movement.
By reflecting on our organizational structures and policies, engaging in internal learning and dialogue, incorporating justice values throughout our programs, and cultivating leadership in frontline communities, we hope to make meaningful progress.
We understand that as a historically white-led organization, we have a responsibility to continuously listen, learn, and grow on our journey toward justice. We’re charting our path towards a more representative and inclusive conservation movement to bring together people from all walks of life so that we can build a conservation future that benefits all Coloradans.
History Colorado - "Globeville-Elyria-Swansea"
Redlining: How the Five Points neighborhood formed amid racist practices in the 1930s
The Colorado Trust - "In Whose Backyard?"
From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement
Toxic Communities: Environmental Racism, Industrial Pollution, and Residential Mobility
The Quest for Environmental Justice: Human Rights and the Politics of Pollution
As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock
Join us on our journey!
With your support, we can create a more powerful conservation movement that empowers people of color, frontline communities, and those who have historically carried the burdens of environmental injustice to lead the fight for a healthy future.
Despite the challenges, Colorado’s legislative session led to big wins for the environment and communities — but leaders must rebuild better, investing in the environment, public health, and racial justice.
https://conservationco.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Capitol-1.jpg6671000Koki Atchesonhttps://conservationco.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/main-logo-horz2.pngKoki Atcheson2020-06-18 17:54:192020-06-22 08:58:35Progress made for our environment and communities — but more to be done
https://conservationco.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/outfront.jpg752960Koki Atchesonhttps://conservationco.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/main-logo-horz2.pngKoki Atcheson2020-06-18 16:09:282020-06-25 15:43:32From Working in the Oilfield to Mobilizing for Environmental Justice
https://conservationco.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Native-Lands.png12451906Asheton Gilbertsonhttps://conservationco.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/main-logo-horz2.pngAsheton Gilbertson2020-05-18 17:36:062020-05-19 11:09:34Beyond a Land Acknowledgement: Indigenous People and Public Lands
Even though we can’t all be in the same room together, we can still make an impact. Here are 3 actions you can take right now – while at home! – to ensure Colorado sets a nationally leading example for bold, equitable, and urgent climate action.
https://conservationco.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Act-on-Climate-scaled.jpg15362560Asheton Gilbertsonhttps://conservationco.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/main-logo-horz2.pngAsheton Gilbertson2020-05-18 12:53:582020-05-28 12:54:24Three Ways to Act on Climate – While at Home!
Help us fight to keep Colorado a place that gives us pride to call our home. Together, we can protect the Colorado way of life and continue a legacy of solid protection of our air, lands, waters and people.