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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Inside and Outside the Doors of Earthjustice
Diversity Mission Statement

As our name indicates, we are driven by a passion for justice—for people and for the environment, by a belief that we can accomplish more in genuine partnership with others, and by a commitment to excellence and strategic action.

Our pursuit of diversity and inclusion recognizes that environmental burdens and benefits are not distributed equitably and we seek to address these historic and current disparities so that each of us can realize and enjoy a healthy, rich and inspiring world.

In order to more fully accomplish our mission and live our values, we strive to make our commitment to diversity and inclusion evident in our organizational structure, policies, board of directors, staff, donors, goals, and vision. We welcome people of all backgrounds and seek to foster a culture of respect, openness, learning, integrity, honesty—and a sense of fun.

Our passion for justice calls on us to be inclusive, transparent, and fair in all that we do. Our commitment to working in partnerships compels us to build relationships where all partners are valued, heard, respected, and empowered. Our drive for excellence leads us to learn from a broad range of perspectives and talents. Our desire for savvy and strategic approaches benefits from a multitude of cultural and life experiences and communities.

In short, we believe a commitment to enhance and steadily increase diversity and inclusion at Earthjustice flows directly from our core values and is essential to achieve our mission.

Promoting diversity both within and beyond Earthjustice, in our staff and in the clients and partners we work with, is critical to our success. Working with environmental justice partners to tackle systemic inequities is one of Earthjustice’s ongoing priorities.
“In our state, and around the country, the poor and communities of color are bearing more of the pollution burden, and that’s not right.”
Juan Parras, T.E.J.A.S.
Chrisangel plays in the shadows of a refinery in the Manchester neighborhood of Houston, Texas.
Eric Kayne for Earthjustice

Chrisangel plays in the shadows of a refinery in a neighborhood of Houston, Texas. Polluting facilities are often situated in low-income communities and communities of color, disproportionately impacting the health of residents.

“While my mother and father fought to drink from the same water fountain, I am now fighting for clean water and clean air.”
Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Jr., Hip Hop Caucus
Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr. (left) of the Hip Hop Caucus speaks with Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen at the 2013 '50 States United for Healthy Air' event in Washington, D.C.
Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice

Alongside the Hip Hop Caucus and other partners, Earthjustice works to expand the environmental movement beyond the traditional base of supporters.

Tulalip tribal member Patti Gobin hugs her brother, Glen Gobin, after testifying against plans to build a tar sands oil pipeline that would threaten the Salish Sea and her tribe’s way of life.
Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice
“We are bound to this land. We are bound to the water. It is who we are.”
Glen Gobin, Tulalip Tribal Member

Tulalip tribal member Patti Gobin hugs her brother, Glen Gobin, after testifying against plans to build a tar sands oil pipeline that would threaten the Salish Sea and her tribe’s way of life. Earthjustice is representing U.S. tribes in proceedings before the Canadian National Energy Board.

Larry Gibson, activist and lifelong West Virginia resident, looks out over the devastated landscape of Kayford Mountain, which is adjacent to his home and where mountaintop removal coal mining has destroyed much of the celebrated scenery.
Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice
“This movement can’t be about just me. It has to be about the people who don’t have a say, like our children and grandchildren.”
Larry Gibson, activist and lifelong West Virginia resident

Larry Gibson looks out over the devastated landscape of Kayford Mountain, adjacent to his home and where mountaintop removal coal mining has destroyed much of the celebrated scenery. Earthjustice works in court and on Capitol Hill to end mountaintop removal mining.

Our Work

Earthjustice is committed to expanding our work and partnerships with communities disproportionately impacted by environmental pollution and climate change. Despite our country’s pledge that all people are equal under the law, communities of color, indigenous communities, and low-income communities have historically and currently shoulder the burden of environmental impacts. Representing these disproportionately impacted communities is a critical priority of our legal, advocacy, and communications efforts.

The stories below illustrate how Earthjustice—in partnership with the very communities that are impacted—uses the power of the law to defend the right of all people to a healthy environment:

Too Sacred To Drill
“Our cultural connection to this land is deeper than us just occupying it. It’s a vital connection to our identity.”
Kendall Edmo, Blackfeet Tribal Member
Edmo, with her two year old daughter, in the Badger-Two Medicine area.
Rebecca Drobis for Earthjustice

With Earthjustice’s help in the courts, the Blackfeet Nation is building a movement to safeguard one of our nation’s wildest and most sacred places in Montana.

Watching The Rails
“This is our life. It’s worth more than a tank of oil.”
Be Be White, Resident of Ezra Prentice Homes
White and his son Brayton stand along the fence that separates the railroad tracks from Ezra Prentice Homes.
Photo by Earthjustice

When polluters need a place to do their dirtiest and most dangerous work, they tend to locate their operations in places where they believe people have less power. One predominantly African-American community in Albany, New York, is proving them wrong.

Righting Civil Wrongs
“The EPA should be doing all it can to hold states accountable and protect residents from the health impacts of pollution.”
Pastor Ron Smith, Community Leader in Tallassee, Alabama
Smith at his home, near Tallassee, AL. His house, now adjacent to the Stone's Throw landfill, was built on the property that his family has owned since his great-grandfather's time.
Jeronimo Nisa for Earthjustice

After decades of unaddressed discrimination complaints, five communities of color are standing up to the EPA to tackle historical environmental injustices.

Harvesting Change
“We are forced to work in toxic fields, because the supervisors aren’t being supervised.”
Victorino, Farmworker in California
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy (right) is thanked by Ana Alicia Torres Aguirre, a farmworker and worker safety trainer from Arizona, for listening to the farmworkers' experiences.
Dave Getzschman for Earthjustice

Farmworkers and advocates journeyed to Washington to advocate for stronger protections against pesticide exposure. The new worker protections they secured are a powerful testimony to their efforts.

The Action Plan

Each year, Earthjustice develops a comprehensive Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Plans to lay out annual internal and external organizational goals. Included in the plan are tangible objectives and metrics for accountability that will keep us committed to our vision.

Throughout 2018, Earthjustice dedicated considerable time and resource to diversity, equity, and inclusion work. A report card issued in early 2019 reviewed the progress we made in 2018 towards our goal of becoming a more inclusive and diverse organization that centers equity in all that we do.

The goals reflect the work we believe is essential to do on DEI, both inside and outside the doors of Earthjustice. Inside, we will continue our work to recruit and retain multi-culturally sophisticated employees and to build a stronger culture of inclusion. Outside our doors, we will work to diversify our clients, partners, donors and supporters to ensure that we are serving all communities impacted by environmental issues.

Our Values

Earthjustice is driven by a passion for justice, partnership, inclusion, and excellence. Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected.

As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure that employees and applicants for employment are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information or any other factor that is not related to the position.

About Earthjustice

Founded in 1971, Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We take on the biggest, most precedent-setting cases across the country. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health; to preserve magnificent places and wildlife; to advance clean energy; and to combat climate change. We partner with thousands of groups, supporters, individuals and communities to engage the critical environmental issues of our time, and bring about positive change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.