In 2020, with support from the full Board, several Newton Conservators Board members formed a “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice” team (DEIJ for short). The members of this team have been working to educate ourselves and to review the Conservators’ mission, values, and goals, which include making our open spaces and organization open and welcoming to all.
Here are some resources from two events the DEIJ team attended in fall 2021:
Advancing Racial Justice, Equity and Inclusion for Land Trusts
More about this workshop series sponsored by the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition in September- October 2021:
Selected “homework” readings from these workshops:
- Evicted from the ‘Wild’ How some five hundred families were made to leave their homes in an area supposedly “pristine and free of human habitation,” to create Shenandoah National Park.
- Diversity in the Great Outdoors: Is Everyone Welcome in America’s Parks and Public Lands? Why historically excluded and marginalized communities may avoid using publicly accessible open spaces.
- Moving a Racial Justice Agenda, Organizational Assessment: Are You Ready? As of early December 2021, the Conservators DEIJ team is reviewing comments from Dr. Estrella-Luna on our draft answers to these questions.
Diversifying Your Nonprofit Board
This panel discussion sponsored by the Charles River Chamber of Commerce on September 29, 2021 included staff and board members of color affiliated with two Boston-area diversity consulting firms, the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, and Newton’s own New Art Center, as well as other nonprofit groups.
A key takeaway from this discussion was that building a diverse board requires more than appointing new board members: it also requires building authentic, everyday working relationships with diverse communities.
- video recording of this panel, with details about the panelists
- other DEIJ readings and videos recommended by the Charles River Chamber of Commerce