MR: In any organization, especially in one that focuses on globally important topics, encouraging and supporting diverse ways of thinking is absolutely necessary in solving the problems that exist today regarding the inequities that exist across all societies and cultures.
With diverse people, comes diverse thought, and looking for solutions through varied views and, differing cultural, political, spiritual and personal ways of looking at our worlds is exactly what makes for good ideas and the best solutions.
That is what makes a successful organization with great outcomes and why N4J is perfectly situated to implement and reflect these values.
LC: How should N4J think about diversity, equity and inclusion and integrating these concepts into the organization?
MR: What I have realized in thinking about this, is that the question is being thought about incorrectly: diversity, equity and inclusion is not just something you achieve as a goal and then wipe your hands and go home. Rather it is something that you constantly work for and towards, much like the concept of ‘Nature For Justice’ is something that you constantly work towards without the expectation that it could ever be achieved.
It is an evolving outcome that is going to shift and change and become many things on its path to becoming. So, we keep working at it embedding this concept in to who we are as an organization. It is something that needs to be constantly nurtured in order for it to truly work.
For example, I assisted Hank in thinking through the concept of diversity, equity and inclusion not as an achievement reached, but as a concept that is an integral part of a way of thinking about the roles in the organization, and is in fact embedded in the way N4J thinks through a more inclusive lens where a broader review of the skill sets that can help N4J achieve it’s goals.
Along with the aspects of diversity, inclusivity and equity we would want to include those who may have those skills and experience/ backgrounds that can help to create a continuously successful organization. This way as we bring staff and consultants into N4J we are constantly integrating equity, inclusiveness and diversity into our ideas and thinking to help make us a stronger, better organization.
As another real world example, I am currently working with Kevin Bryan to help him think through how he could staff up his own support in a flexible way to meet his needs for his budget for the BIPOC landowners program and the overall needs of the organization that both reflects our values of diversity and inclusivity but also extends it to being able to meet the needs of those we work with on the ground level.
LC: Thank you Missy for your time and insight. We are excited to see the ensuring that N4J can serve its goals through the development and nurturing of values such as these.