Equity & Environmental Justice: VNRC’s Commitment to Action


At VNRC and VCV, we are working to evaluate the influence of power and privilege within our own walls. We scrutinize how these dynamics shape our choices and commit to addressing disparities. While we acknowledge the challenges in implementing inclusive measures, we challenge our perceived limitations, knowing that growth demands persistence. Our board and staff share a commitment to mutual accountability—to each other, our members, supporters, and the communities touched by our actions.

Our equity journey is an ongoing process, mirroring our growth and our drive to hold ourselves accountable in innovative ways. Our organizational transformation is grounded in the following fundamental truths that shape our perspective:

    • Systemic racism, economic disparities, and other oppressive structures deprive many Vermonters of access to a healthy environment and essential services, perpetuating inequity.

    • Communities primarily composed of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), along with those with lower incomes, are disproportionately impacted by climate change, polluted water sources, inadequate housing, and economic strains. Recognizing these inequalities, our advocacy spans climate action, renewable energy, clean air and water, sustainable agriculture, thriving forests and wildlife, accessible transportation, diverse housing options, and walkable communities. Our environmental efforts are inseparable from the pursuit of justice for those who inhabit these spaces.

    • Addressing human needs is intrinsic to creating effective policies.

    • We acknowledge that VNRC/VCV wields influence and resources that can open doors and create avenues of access. When advocating for policy changes aimed at enhancing environmental health and community well-being, we commit to actively involving and listening to partners and populations most affected by these shifts. Their insights and experiences will guide both public discourse and our decision-making processes, ensuring our actions reflect the lived realities of those who might have been marginalized.

    • Inclusivity fuels democracy within political systems.

    • Navigating Vermont’s legislative, administrative, and legal landscapes, we pledge to advocate for accessible voting and participation in decision-making processes. Our aim is to foster meaningful engagement for all Vermonters, aligning laws and policies with the needs and aspirations of our state’s diverse populace. At the local level, we recognize the importance of democratizing advocacy and organizing, striving to expand access to these critical spheres.

    • Internal culture shapes external impact.

Our equity journey is rooted in authenticity. It is a pledge to weave justice and equity into the fabric of our organizations and the communities we serve. Through mindful action and an unwavering dedication to learning, we forge a path towards a more just and equitable future for all. We also understand that as an organization that is undergoing internal work to solidify our understanding of systemic racial inequities and our role historically in perpetuating these inequities, we recognize that we have ongoing work to do in building trust and deepening relationships with communities and partners who have been harmed.

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