Embedding Racial Justice & Equity in our 2021-2024 Strategic Plan
Successes, Challenges, and Lessons Learned
LCV strives to embed racial justice and equity (RJE) into our work to fight climate change, protect the environment, and strengthen democracy.
Since 2015, LCV has committed to and engaged in an organizational change process designed to center equity and racial justice in how we protect people and the planet.
Our progress in turning this commitment into action is the subject of our first annual Racial Justice & Equity report. This inaugural report covers 2021, which was the first year of LCV’s current four-year strategic plan and followed significant changes in our organization: LCV established a unionized workforce, responded to nationwide racial justice protests, and pivoted to remote work during the 2020 pandemic.
The report assesses our progress in centering RJE in five key areas: Strategic Planning, Advocacy & Elections, Fundraising, Internal Structures, and Partnerships. As you will read, we built organizational infrastructure and learned valuable lessons that will serve to support our RJE efforts for years to come.
Examples of our work in 2021 include:
- Strategic Planning – We created a more inclusive strategic planning process by seeking meaningful feedback and input from a racially, gender, and age diverse group of stakeholders. As a result, LCV’s 2021-2024 plan effectively embeds racial justice and equity in our organizational goals and elevates our commitment to anti-racism as a core value.
- Advocacy & Elections – We elevated our work to strengthen democracy as a priority for the next decade, with a focus on addressing the systemic exclusion of communities of color. We continued to work in coalition to center racial and environmental justice in federal, state, and local policy goals. One of the most tangible outcomes was that the Biden-Harris administration established the Justice40 Initiative. Our state affiliates in the Conservation Voters Movement worked to elect pro-environment and pro-democracy candidates who share our RJE values.
- Fundraising – We created a set of anti-racist fundraising principles to help transform LCV’s fundraising model to reflect our equity and racial justice commitments. We took steps to diversify our donor base and improved communication to help build a more inclusive movement aligned with our commitment to centering RJE.
- Internal Structures – We invested in financial tools, technology, and infrastructure to make LCV’s internal systems more efficient and equitable and help staff thrive. To attract diverse candidates for employment, we continued to do targeted outreach within Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities, which has allowed us to reach a demographic of 45% staff of color. We furthered our work to create an inclusive organizational culture through adopting six core values, engaged in tough conversations on how to build a more just and equitable organization, and invested in skills development, training, and leadership for staff to hone RJE competencies and knowledge..
- Partnerships – Much of our focus in 2021 was intentionally cultivating partnerships at the state and local level across the Conservation Voters Movement. We invested in long-term community-building and partnerships with organizations led by and serving Black, Indigenous, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Latinx, and other communities of color.
LCV continues to build on the progress we’ve made towards becoming an anti-racist organization by attending to the lessons learned and addressing challenges faced in 2021. As we worked toward our strategic plan goals, a crucial lesson learned was that while we as an organization have become quite good at articulating why we center RJE in our work, we need to become better at aligning on what it means to center racial justice and equity at LCV. This will require all staff further developing critical thinking skills through shared learning and open, honest dialogue. In 2021, we worked to cultivate increased trust within LCV and with our partners. Additionally, we must develop new ways to further operationalize how we center RJE in our work.
Read the full 2021 Racial Justice & Equity report in English (PDF) or Spanish (PDF).
Ver esta página en español.