Our Commitment to Dismantling White Supremacy, and Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Hitchcock Center for the Environment aspires to create and sustain an organization-wide culture that prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion and sees them as essential to our organization’s mission and continued excellence. Through strategic initiatives and partnerships, program design and delivery, stewardship and development, and continual education, we are working to build a more representative, equitable, and inclusive Center. 

We recognize that the field we work in, the environmental and environmental education field, is a predominately white and privileged one.  We are committed to consciously changing  this through a systemic approach that works to dismantle white supremacy culture and center equity and, in particular, racial equity, within our organizational ethos. 

We gratefully acknowledge the Indigenous Peoples on whose ancestral homelands we live and work, as well as the diverse and vibrant Indigenous communities who make their home here today. We acknowledge we are working and teaching on stolen land that is the traditional homeland of the Nonotuck, Nipmuc, Pocumtuc and Wabenaki people. As an organization whose very work is to be a part of and connect with the wonders of nature and our land, we recognize the history of colonialism and the genocide of Indigenous people that brings us to this land today. We acknowledge our neighboring Indigenous nations: the Wampanoag to the East, the Mohegan and Pequot to the South, the Mohican to the West, and the Abenaki to the North, all of whom were the original stewards of this land. We strive to honor and celebrate current and historical Indigenous people in our programs, curriculum and partnerships.

We also recognize the painful history of genocide, slavery, and forced displacement and their ongoing ramifications for many communities. These acknowledgements commit us to continually work on being a welcoming organization with a strong culture of respect and belonging that is actively working against systems of oppression. Inside, we continue our work to recruit and retain culturally competent employees and build a strong culture of inclusion Outside, we are working to increase our reach and diversify our program participants, volunteers, partners, donors and supporters to ensure we are serving all communities. We continually re-evaluate our programs and services, asking ourselves what can be done to be true to this commitment. Here are some action steps we are taking in order to advance our commitment:

 As we move forward, we recognize that we have not yet met these expectations. This is work in progress and a living document. We know there will be missteps and inaccuracies in our own practice and we aim to be transparent and embrace the opportunity to learn from our mistakes. 

Grievance Procedure for Discrimination

It is the policy of the Hitchcock Center for the Environment not to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, age, national origin, color, marital status, handicap, disability, political beliefs, height, weight, genetic information, or sexual orientation. Any person who believes that they have experienced discrimination is encouraged to express their concern to the Executive Director in an attempt to resolve the problem through discussion.

If the resolution of the problem at this level is unsatisfactory to the individual, they may file a grievance with the Executive Director. Grievances must be submitted in writing within 30 days of the date the person filing the grievance becomes aware of the alleged discriminatory action. The complaint must be in writing, contain the name and contact information of the person filing it, state the problem or action alleged to be discriminatory, and the remedy or relief sought. The Executive Director or their designee will conduct an investigation of the complaint, affording all interested persons an opportunity to submit evidence relevant to the complaint, and will maintain records of the investigation.

The Executive Director will issue a written decision on the grievance no later than 30 days after its filing. The person filing the grievance may appeal the decision within 15 days by writing to the Executive Director, who will transmit it to the Board’s Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall issue a written decision in response to the appeal no later than 30 days after its filing.

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Hitchcock Center for the Environment