Friends of the Earth Statement of Commitment to Anti-Oppression
Friends of the Earth is working towards ensuring that in our struggle for a healthy and just world our words and actions uphold the rights and dignity of all peoples. We believe that freedom from oppression is the foundation of justice and peace in the world and that oppression, in all its forms, will continue to divide our movements and weaken our power to create the change we seek unless we openly acknowledge and address it in all its forms.
We can only identify and respond to the role of power and privilege when we are conscious of how they operate. We are therefore committed to understanding how racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, religious discrimination and all other forms of oppression affect and implicate each of us. We understand that the ways we interact with the environment and the burden of pollution we bear are closely tied to class, race, gender, age and other forms of identity. Groups confronting racial and economic injustice are often targeted by polluting industries and others who harm the environment for profit. Achieving strong and lasting environmental protection depends on challenging forms of oppression that fuel and enable environmental destruction.
We recognize that a commitment to anti-oppression is life-long work and requires a life-long commitment. We therefore view this statement as part of an ongoing process of becoming more accountable to our allies, to our supporters, and to our own beliefs. We intend for the following principles to guide our work and to be a living statement that is reviewed and adjusted as our work progresses.
We support the Principles of Environmental Justice adopted by the Delegates to the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit (1991) and recognize the important work of the many organizations and individuals who have led in the struggle for justice and served as guides in our work to confront oppression.
We, the staff and Board of Friends of the Earth, commit ourselves to working together to embody the following principles and values:
- We believe that the all forms of life on earth are sacred and interconnected.
- We believe that all peoples have the right to self-determination.
- We believe that social, economic and environmental issues are interconnected and interdependent.
- We seek to engage in activism that is rooted in an analysis of power that sees all systems of oppression as interrelated. We are therefore committed to identifying and understanding the interrelations between all systems of oppression as well as to challenging the power structures and narratives that legitimize them and perpetuate injustices.
- We commit to examining the resources and privileges we have and utilizing them thoughtfully, respectfully, honestly and transparently.
- We believe that all people should have equitable access to the decision-making processes of government agencies and political entities. We therefore take responsibility for equalizing power and creating a space where all are encouraged to actively engage, listen, speak and act with respect.
- We commit to listening to, learning from and amplifying the voices of our allies. We value the voices of historically marginalized and oppressed people, including youth, women, queer folks, and people of color. We are committed to building relationships with impacted communities and a broad base of constituents across social, economic and political boundaries.
- We are committed to being a visible ally. We are committed to action, taking public positions against oppression and building broad-based movements for environmental, social, and economic justice.
We, the staff and Board of Friends of the Earth, commit to embodying these principles. If you share these values, we invite you to join us and our allies in the struggle for a healthy and just world.