Lake County Resources Initiative (LCRI) unequivocally condemns the murder of George Floyd and the countless other police killings of people of color and sees them as grim reminders of the systemic racism still present in our society. We stand in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and will continue to promote racial justice throughout our work.
LCRI seeks to demonstrate environmental, social and economic solutions to natural resource management, climate change, community education and economic development to improve the quality of life for present and future generations. This includes combatting the systemic racism that so often defines people’s socio-economic status and access to our natural environment. Climate and environmental problems disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities health, safety and economic stability. To help our whole community we need to commit to supporting the most vulnerable among us. We recognize Oregon’s own history of racial injustice, starting with the state’s constitution that originally barred Black citizens from residing within the state, and that the consequences of these injustices are still with us today. We also recognize and celebrate the vibrancy and resiliency of the diverse voices, populations and histories within Lake County.
LCRI cannot successfully build up our county’s economic, social and environmental standing without actively working to break down the systems of oppression found in our communities. BIPOC are disproportionately underrepresented in Oregon particularly within the environmental and sustainability field. We strive to create an environment that supports BIPOC members engaging in this crucial work.
We are committed to breaking down these systems of oppression and creating more equitable access to our programs, natural environments and community resources. To this end, we commit to:
- Understanding and interrupting oppression by educating and training our staff on the collective history of our region, methods of community engagement that seek to include diverse populations and understanding our inherited privilege as a predominantly white run organization and how we can use that privilege to advocate for our underrepresented communities.
- Using these understandings to help guide every aspect of our work, including how we hire, train and support staff, interact with community members, select project areas, and pursue funding sources.
- Pursuing project areas that directly support the BIPOC members of our community and strive to create programs that help to diversify the natural resource and renewable energy fields by making technologies more widely accessible to our marginalized communities through education and advocacy.
- Processing feedback, confronting our own shortcomings, growing our awareness and skills, and adjusting our culture and work approaches.
- Continuing to revisit this statement on an annual basis and making changes to reflect the growth that has and needs to happen within our organization as we approach new projects in our community.
We are committed to this work and understand that this will be an ongoing process of change and education for our organization and community as we have not done enough of this work in the past but are dedicated to lifting up the diverse voices in our community and our field.
– LCRI Board and Staff