Statement of Solidarity and Commitment to Action
On June 10, 2020, Forterra's Board of Directors adopted the following statement.
Resolution 061020B of the Board of Directors of Forterra NW
WHEREAS, Forterra is outraged by the murder of George Floyd and the wrongful killings of so many other Black people in our country; and
WHEREAS, historic, systemic and institutionalized racism affecting Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color causes harm to members of the community we serve, including detrimental public health outcomes and disparities in wealth; and
WHEREAS, in adopting the vision of the Cascade Agenda in 2006, Forterra’s Board of Directors made a strategic and moral commitment to ensure that use of land in the Puget Sound region supports environmental and community well-being; and
WHEREAS, the Board updated the organization’s mission to state that, “We will lead a movement to connect conservation to the fabric of our community and thereby change conservation as we know it.” And, updated Forterra’s charter to declare that its purposes include to, “Promote social welfare, lessen neighborhood tensions and combat community deterioration through conservation and development activities;” and
WHEREAS, Forterra strives to hear, raise up, and empower the voices of those marginalized from accessing the benefits we all treasure and value from the land of the PNW; and
WHEREAS, Forterra brings forward unique adeptness in navigating the legal, financial, political, granting, and philanthropic constructs to which marginalized communities have historically been denied access; and
WHEREAS, Forterra recognizes that how land is owned, financed, and managed will determine the benefits generated and who derives those benefits, as well as who is most likely to be harmed by noxious land uses or lack of investment; and
WHEREAS, Forterra desires to further advance its decade-long efforts to share power and knowledge and fundamentally transform our region for the benefit of natural systems and all people in our community.
Now therefore be it resolved:
The Board of Directors of Forterra hereby pledges in solidarity that:
Forterra denounces racism, injustice, and hatred. We stand in solidarity with the Black community and mourn the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, George Floyd, Manuel Ellis, Charleena Lyles, and the many other victims of historic, systemic, and institutional racism such as John T. Williams and Tommy Le. We are committed to being part of the solution. We are committed to being an anti-racist organization. We are committed to environmental justice. We are committed to making this a place for all of us.
Forterra will fulfill our pledge by:
- Listening, learning, and engaging in courageous conversations to gain deeper understanding and awareness of racism and inequity, especially in land conservation, ecological restoration and community development;
- Continuing and amplifying our investment of leadership, time, and financial resources into organization-wide DEI training for both Board and staff;
- Using Forterra’s skills and tools in a way that fights racism and systemic inequities, and auditing our efforts in this regard annually;
- Ensuring that the board and staff include Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to effectively serve the communities with whom we work; and
- Using our voices to condemn racism and hatred wherever and whenever we see it.