PSCC Statement of Intention Regarding Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

September 2021

Prairie State Conservation Coalition (PSCC) commits to building a Board that is made up of and supports inclusion that reflects the diverse population that lives and works in Illinois. This diversity includes, but is not limited to, age, ability, economic circumstance, ethnicity, gender identity, race, religion, education, and sexual orientation.

We recognize that our effectiveness and impact will be enhanced, and our mission well served when the practice of diversity, inclusion, and belonging are reflected in all aspects of PSCC, and specifically when we, the Board of Directors, reflect the rich diversity of all our members throughout the state.

However, we understand that supporting diversity goes beyond the makeup of the Board and must include a commitment to building a culture where diverse voices can be heard and respected. As we advance in this important work, we must openly and proactively pursue the cultural changes that will be necessary to meaningfully include these voices.

As we discover equitable ways of engaging with new partners and implementing our programs, we will continually review our practices and decision-making in all our program areas as we look at them through an equity lens.

Therefore, we commit to creating a Board and culture that:

  • Reflects all the communities in which PSCC works to advance the diversity and inclusion criteria listed above.
  • Encourages open and respectful engagement and interaction among the different voices invited to join the Board and promotes opportunities for discussion and debate in the regular course of Board meetings, retreats, and conversations to ensure differing perspectives are not ignored.
  • Strives to create long lasting and meaningful partnerships so that our work benefits people.
  • Recognizes that urban areas are critical for pollinators, habitat connectivity and expanding our conservation impact.
  • Links climate change and nature-based solutions to environmental justice outcomes recognizing that communities of color are disproportionately impacted by inequitable and structural environmental policies and practices.
  • Maintains a positive, productive, inclusive, transparent, and supportive environment where the diverse experiences, voices, ideas, and skill sets that the board, staff, and volunteers bring to their work help PSCC to better fulfill its mission.
  • Is committed to examining how diversity in all its forms can advance conservation in ways that build resilient and just communities for the benefit of all people.

By adopting the values and actions outlined above, the Board of Directors seeks to ensure a stronger foundation from which the Board and the organization can grow. We recognize that a diversity of experience, perspective, and expertise will strengthen our ability to make smart, strategic decisions, and find solutions to the challenges and opportunities we face.

The Board of Directors commits to pursuing the inclusive goals listed above and working proactively to build the culture of the Board to ensure the long-term success of PSCC.