Equity Statement

Friends of the Mississippi River believes that the Mississippi River belongs to all of us and that its ecological, recreational, economic and social benefits should flow equally to all people in our community. We are committed to the ongoing work of becoming culturally competent, welcoming and inclusive of all people both within our organization as well as in the range of issues and challenges that we engage in.

We understand that environmental problems disproportionately burden communities of color, indigenous peoples and low-income communities. We further acknowledge that mainstream environmental and conservation organizations have largely failed to understand and address the systemic underpinnings that are common to both environmental problems and injustice. We are committed to using our resources and influence to redress structural inequality where it intersects with the health and vitality of the Mississippi River.

As our community grows and becomes more diverse we understand that it is imperative that we evolve to include and serve the full breadth of experience and perspectives in order to remain relevant and effective in pursuing our mission. We understand that to succeed in this goal will require us to reach beyond our traditional allies and constituencies, enter new relationships with humility, be prepared to listen, learn, follow the lead of our partners and adapt our methods and practices.

We believe that just as greater ecological diversity makes our ecosystems stronger and more resilient, so too will greater diversity strengthen our organization and our community. We actively work to support, engage and include people with different racial, cultural, economic and religious backgrounds as well as those with varying physical abilities, gender identities and sexual orientations.

The Mississippi River is a treasured asset whose intrinsic value as well as its many uses and benefits are essential and relevant to all people in our community. We are deeply committed to the practice of advancing equity in pursuit of a healthy community and a healthy river.