For the past three years, RAN has been on a very active kick to increase and solidify our commitment to becoming the most diverse and anti-oppressive workplace possible. Since we are in the business of market transformation, we figured we should put the same effort toward transforming the mainstream environmental movement (it has a nasty history of racism and classism – you can read more about it in a really great essay called The Soul of Environmentalism).
We have been organizing staff-wide trainings throughout the years, hired an outside Diversity Professional (Juan Lopez of Amistad Associates) for an organizational assessment and program development plan, as well as having monthly brown-bag discussion sessions about interesting diversity and anti-oppression readings.
Recently we got around to posting on our website our Anti-Oppression Principles. The impetus for creating this document was to make our collaborative work with allies and RAN chapters throughout the country the most effective and meaningful relationships possible. And we wanted to do that by setting a standard by which we would hold ourselves accountable and our allies accountable. It’s a living document (not static and definitely created in the spirit of changing when necessary and appropriate) and will definitely continue to grow as RAN carries on a learning process that benefits from both mistakes and victories.
We would love your feedback! What do you think about it? How can we do better? Do you think this is a step in the right direction for being a more effective ally in the larger environmental movement? We’d love to hear your thoughts and know that the only way we can truly grow is to be transparent about this process, ask for feedback from our allies and learn from our mistakes. We all look forward to hearing from you!