In the week since we publicly acknowledged our support of Black Lives Matter, it is encouraging to see that our community, city and country continue to reckon with our own roles in systemic injustice.
We recognize the far-reaching impacts of decades of privilege and oppression, a reality that has manifested itself in the disparities in canopy coverage within Washington, DC: more robust canopy tends to be in more affluent, white areas and lesser canopy tends to cover poorer, Black ones. Our commitment to actively addressing this disparity and others has been energized. We have much to learn but are committed to understanding how our well-intended actions could be even more fully inclusive and evenly applied.
In addition to what we’re doing organizationally or what you are doing in your own communities, there are simple steps we can all take together. This includes, and is not limited to, admitting when we’re wrong, continuing our dedication to learn and listen, and, most importantly, talking about this – especially when it is uncomfortable and out of the headlines.
Where to start? There are an overwhelming number of resource lists popping up and we encourage you to find one that suits your needs. We have turned to the District of Columbia Public Library’s reading lists for kids, teens, and adults along with Black owned bookstores to purchase these books from, Environmental and Climate Justice organizations, a few outdoor, climate, and sustainability Instagram accounts, and local organizations like Ward 8 Woods, Building Bridges Across the River, and Dreaming Out Loud.
While what comes next is uncertain, we do know that it will depend on all of us. At Casey Trees we are committed to listening, learning, asking hard questions, and remaining present when it is difficult or uncomfortable. And, as we travel this path, we always remain open to hearing your feedback – we will always look for ways to be better.