June 5, 2020

As the premier international organization for those who practice and advance the science and art of natural resource conservation, the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) recognizes we can only create a bright future for agriculture, the environment, and society with the intentional inclusion of people of color.

The Soil and Water Conservation Society denounces the systemic racism, discrimination, and inequality that exist today.

Racism, discrimination, and inequality of any kind go against SWCS’s core values, which include respect for people and cultures and the unification of people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas.

HOWEVER it is not enough to value diversity—we all must TAKE ACTION. Our goals for the world’s soil, water, and other natural resources cannot be realized without equity and inclusion.

TODAY, we are seeking out diverse voices and we are listening. I invite you, as a member and partner of our organization, to reach out to us, and I thank all of those who have shared their stories and offered counsel and guidance in the past week as we set in motion a plan of action for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion at our next Board of Directors meeting, Thursday, June 18th at 3 p.m. CT.

We recognize we don’t have all the answers. We recognize this pushes us to confront things within ourselves and our organization that make us uncomfortable, and we will engage in the active listening, critical thinking, and dialogue necessary to take meaningful action. We recognize substantive action will take an investment of our time and talent. Most importantly, however, we recognize how needed real change is, how long overdue this change is, and our responsibility to be part of creating institutions and systems that serve and value people equally.

Clare Lindahl, CEO
The Soil and Water Conservation Society

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