Diversity and Equity

The next meeting of the District’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee is Friday, May 12, 2017 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm in the office conference room, 2701 NW Vaughn Street, Suite 450. The meeting is open to the public and the site is fully accessible.

In 2014 and 2015, WMSWCD staff attended several workshops on equity and diversity. While the District is proud of the diverse partners and landowners it’s worked with, we have decided to increase our emphasis on serving our constituents equitably and are exploring strategies to add diversity to the staff and board of directors.

Staff and board members completed a Racial Equity Assessment through a program organized by the Intertwine. By initially focusing on racial equity, we can address Portland’s most glaring inequities while developing policies and practices that result in more accessible programs and services for all. Currently the District is working on a Racial Equity Policy, staff and board cultural competency training and demographic data collection and analysis.

Why is this effort important?

1. Environmental health impacts all and engaging and welcoming all stakeholders is crucial to ensuring success in the District’s mission.
2. District programs may not engage many racially diverse audiences and we lack the demographic information to track whether we are reaching all constituents.
3. The current make up of our board and staff is not as diverse as it could be.
4. Having diverse perspectives in organizational decision-making would increase our District’s overall strength and relevance.
5. The District will be better able to identify and address the priorities of underserved communities of color if it works directly with them to ensure messages and programs are meaningful and accessible.

Our Racial Equity Policy will include the following:

1. A vision statement that highlights the aim to welcome, engage and provide access to people of color in all facets of our organization.
2. District Non-Discrimination Statement (see below)
3. Intended policy outcomes
4. A plan for resource allocation
5. The role partnerships will play in addressing equity
6. Concrete next steps and accountability mechanisms
7. Action items in staff member work plans that address equity through District programming

West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District does not discriminate based on age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status, or any other characteristics protected by law. The District is an equal opportunity employer. We will make reasonable accommodations for events, educational materials and services and invite your feedback. Please email info@wmswcd.org or call 503.238.4775.