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Engaging Mainstream Environmental Organizations in Race & Social Justice Work

Seattle is widely known for its environmental leadership—a long held source of pride for our city. However, Seattle, like all other cities, still has much work to do in ensuring environmental benefits are shared equally among all residents.

PaulinaTypically, the communities who shape and benefit from our environmental policies, approaches, and outcomes are primarily white and upper-income. Through the Equity & Environment Initiative we are working shift this dynamic and to strengthen relationships and collaboration between mainstream environmental organizations and the communities that are impacted by their work but are not engaged in their decision-making.

BoardIn pursuit of this goal, OSE recently conducted a series of workshops between leaders of historically white-led environmental organizations and the leaders who represent the Community Partners Steering Committee (CPSC). Building bridges between the mainstream environmental community and the priority communities of the initiative is a critical early action that will help ensure the long-term success of the EEI.

The series of three workshops included 2 meetings between the mainstream groups and the CPSC as well as a workshop for the mainstream organizations on their own to process what they learned and consider how they might incorporate race-conscious practices into their work.

Participants fully engaged in the workshops and are developing commitments of support to align their efforts with the Equity & Environment Initiative.