Dear partners and friends,
At EMSWCD, we stand in solidarity with the movement striving to hold law enforcement accountable, and with the protestors demanding nothing less than a just, equitable, and inclusive society.
On May 25th, 2020, George Floyd died at the hands of police, an institution meant to protect him. He was unarmed. His murder is among the latest in a long pattern of brutality and discrimination towards Black members of our community – Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and too many others. The loss of their lives is an overwhelming tragedy.
At EMSWCD, our mission is to help people care for land and water. We cannot care for land and water without caring for people. Throughout American history, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color have been forcibly removed from and denied access to land. They have experienced significantly greater impacts from contaminated water and soils, polluted air, flooding, fire, and the increasing effects of climate change. We can do better. Until everyone has equal access to a safe and healthy environment, dismantling racism must be central to our work.
When we are not actively fighting against racism, we are perpetuating it with our silence and inaction. We must be anti-racist. EMSWCD is committed to using our power and privilege to stand with the Black community and help dismantle the racist system. We are committed to listening, learning, and speaking out against injustice. We will make mistakes. We will build practices to check our privilege, but we know it may still sometimes obscure our view of what is right and urgent.
We ask you to hold us accountable and we ask you to join us in this work.
Stay safe. Take care of yourself. May you find the highest and best use of your voice, and be sustained on this long journey by love, hope, healing, and connection.
Board of Directors, Chair
East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District