We are building a landscape stewardship movement in California, and we recognize that there is much work to be done to ensure this movement is rooted in justice and equity. The Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Roundtable (Healing Severed Connections) is a group of people from a variety of racial backgrounds, organizational and movement roles, and geographical locations. We are all active thought leaders and movement builders in the effort to create a more justice-focused landscape stewardship movement. And, as active participants in the California Landscape Stewardship Network, they leverage this commitment to support the Network in advancing all priorities described in the Strategic Roadmap from these fundamental values.
We are actively collaborating to create tools, approaches, and meaningful conversation that help evolve the work of landscape conservation to be more inclusive, equitable, and culturally relevant. We strive to support the leadership of communities of color and those who have faced historic disinvestment, and we recognize these are often the people who have long stewarded the land or been denied access to it.
We know that biodiversity loss and lacking access to nature disproportionately impacts Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and disabled communities here and around the world. Inclusive, truly equitable decision-making is needed to ensure effective stewardship and a resilient future. Our JEDI Roundtable leaders are committed to the following principles and practices, to help ground our work and make it useful to the field of practice:
- We recognize history and the impacts of settler colonialism on the models and outcomes of traditional conservation practices.
- We seek to shift power to local communities and Indigenous land stewards.
- We stay rooted in place, meaning that our tools and solutions must be relevant to specific communities and their landscapes, or be broadly understood and replicable at the state or national levels.
- We work to heal severed connections, which means we work through complexity and intersectionality, looking for solutions to systems-level problems and investigating where change can be supported from the individual to the societal scales.