Sturgeon Bay – A link between environmental justice and social justice is an increasingly direct one, said Matt Luders, president of the Crossroads at Big Creek board.
“No hiding behind the argument that our mission doesn’t include this,” he said. “A healthy Earth should be an equally distributed right, and we need everyone’s voice, everyone’s involvement.”
With that objective as a goal, Crossroads at Big Creek, in conjunction with Door County Medical Center, will host a virtual program, A Workshop in Racial Equity, on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 4:30-7 pm.
During the program, August Ball, founder and lead consultant at Cream City Conservation and Consulting (C4), will explore how compounded disparities have serious socioeconomic, political, educational and health effects on communities of color. She’ll provide historical context on the key components driving these inequities, with the goal of developing shared language that will help to create understanding and change.
Crossroads at Big Creek expressed its commitment in July 2020 to addressing diversity within the local land-conservation movement. That statement came from a board discussion about the links between environmental justice and social justice, plus a cautionary quote from Outside Magazine: Those who don’t actively address their own diversity issues are relegating their organizations to future irrelevancy.
“As we work to inspire environmental stewardship in future generations, we want to be relevant,” Luders said.
C4 is an award-winning, Milwaukee-based firm that helps organizations address diversity and land-stewardship needs through cultivating an inclusive culture and creating equitable, “green career” pipelines. The organization trains and employs people ages 15-25 whose social identities are traditionally underrepresented in the environmental industry. C4 also offers educational programming and organizational consulting and has worked with many national and state groups.
In September 2020 and again in June 2021, Crossroads hired C4 to plant native trees, shrubs and other plants as part of its ecological restoration efforts on lands bordering the Big Creek estuary.
“Looking to the future starts with shared conversation,” said Laurel Hauser, executive director of Crossroads at Big Creek. “We’ve loved the energy C4 brings to everything it does, and we’re really pleased to share that with our community. Because this workshop is offered virtually, we have room for everyone.”
Hauser encouraged all those who want to increase their understanding of racial inequity – community organizations, individuals and groups – to attend. There is no charge, but advance registration is required by emailing [email protected]. (Include “Workshop” in the subject field.) Registrants will then receive a link to the meeting. Find out more online at crossroadsatbigcreek.org or by calling 920.746.5895.