Environment Council of Rhode Island

...building an ecologically healthy future in a sustainable economy

Strategic Planning

WORKSHOPS

ECRI has been working with Resolve Conservation on its strategic plan.  Resolve Conservation has led us through a series of workshops and exercises to help us understand some of the obstacles ECRI must overcome to be a more justice-oriented group.  The next phase of the project is examining what ECRI should do.  We are looking at the structure and communications system by which ECRI functions and communicates its work and mission to the larger world, with the goal of expanding ECRI’s reach into the community and improving its financial picture for the future.

Click here to watch Resolve Conservation's presentation at ECRI's Annual Meeting on June 7, 2021. 

BACKGROUND

The Environment Council of RI recognizes the role we have played in upholding the exclusivity of the environmental movement; in June, 2020, we committed ourselves to dismantling systemic racism by identifying and challenging oppressive practices within our own work. This work is not yet accomplished; rather, we are at the beginning of a continual process of learning and improving.

ECRI started an anti-racist strategic planning process with two goals. We will identify the organizational barriers that prevent frontline community members from engaging with ECRI, and we will organize anti-racism training to help our existing member base recognize and dismantle the racist practices embedded within our work. ECRI must lead by example, and by doing so, we will not only become a stronger coalition for the environment, but better amplify environmental action led by people of color.

Strategic planning will allow us to establish a new vision for ECRI’s future, identify and dismantle oppressive practices within our coalition, formalize our anti-racist position, and center environmental justice. We know this will be hard and uncomfortable work, but without this intentional effort, we will continue to exclude people of color, youth, and other marginalized communities. As a coalition committed to protecting the health and environment of all Rhode Islanders, centering those most vulnerable to injustice must be our priority.

Strategic planning is not enough to repair hundreds of years of racial inequity in Rhode Island, but we believe it is an actionable first step. By announcing this process, we do not expect a pat on the back, but to be held accountable for this work because there’s no climate justice without racial and social justice.