Black Lives Still Matter
In early June, Conservation Strategy Fund released a statement standing in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests. To support those fighting for environmental and social justice, CSF recognized that the organization needed to take steps to help support and uplift diverse voices. In response, CSF organized an all-staff call to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement and to hear the stories and concerns raised by staff in all of the international offices.
As a participant of the Black Lives Matter protests in Washington D.C., I marched from the Capitol to the White House to uplift Black voices, advocate for Black futures, and protest police brutality. Based on my involvement with these protests, I created a presentation about the history of the Black Lives Matter Movement beginning in 2013, including facts about police violence in the United States, and examples of Black Lives Matter protests in every country where CSF has a local office: Indonesia, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil. Following this presentation, I helped to facilitate a broader discussion about CSF’s role in promoting environmental and social justice and how CSF can do better.
Hearing our staff share their experiences and perspectives from their home countries revealed how pervasive systemic racism is throughout the world. But it also revealed how CSF can play an important role in pursuing racial and climate justice as an organization with broad international influence. Together, CSF staff brainstormed next steps and ways to maintain momentum on the path of anti-racism, including compiling a list of resources for further reading and learning.
Looking forward, CSF leadership is now working on a long-term strategy to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into the strategic plan. CSF recognizes that its mission of using economics to benefit people and nature cannot be achieved without a simultaneous commitment to being anti-racist; climate justice cannot exist without racial justice, and it is our responsibility to create a more inclusive future.