Sturgeon Bay – A link between environmental justice and social justice is increasingly direct, said Matt Luders, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Crossroads at Big Creek.
“Don’t hide behind the argument that our mission does not include this,” he said. “A healthy Earth should be an equitably distributed right, and we need everyone’s voice, everyone’s involvement. ”
With that 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, September 22, from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
During the program, August Ball, Founder and Senior Consultant at Cream City Conservation and Consulting (C4), will explore how worsened disparities have serious socio-economic, political, educational and health effects on communities of color. It will provide historical context on the key elements behind these inequalities, with the aim of developing a shared language that will help create understanding and change.
Crossroads at Big Creek expressed its commitment in July 2020 to addressing diversity within the local land conservation movement. This statement came from a board discussion on the links between environmental justice and social justice, as well as a caveat from Outdoor magazine: Those who do not actively tackle their own diversity issues are relegating their organizations to future uselessness.
“As we strive to inspire environmental stewardship in future generations, we want to be relevant,” Luders said.
C4 is an award-winning Milwaukee-based company that helps organizations meet the needs of diversity and land stewardship by cultivating an inclusive culture and creating equitable “green career” pathways. The organization trains and employs people aged 15 to 25 whose social identities are traditionally under-represented in the environmental industry. C4 also offers educational programs and organizational counseling 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 the lands bordering the Big Creek Estuary.
“Looking to the future begins with a shared conversation,” said Laurel Hauser, executive director of Crossroads at Big Creek. “We loved the energy that C4 brings to everything it does, and we are so excited to share it with our community. Because this workshop is offered virtually, we have room for everyone.
Hauser encouraged all those who wish to deepen their understanding of racial inequality – community organizations, individuals and groups – to attend. There is no charge, but prior registration is required by email [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.