Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Health In Harmony recognizes environmental degradation as a social, racial, and economic justice issue. We are committed to serving rainforest communities while aligning our reforestation programs and organizational framework with the guiding principles of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
Health In Harmony acknowledges and condemns racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, ableism, and all forms of oppression. Oppression, white supremacy, and colonialism have resulted in a world where marginalized communities, historically and today, experience a lack of access to healthcare, education, and livelihoods, and are disproportionately affected by pollution, environmental degradation, and the climate crisis now.
We commit to being anti-racist and to practice a conscious anti-colonial mindset.
An anti-colonial ethic is fundamental to our work, particularly during the Radical Listening process, entailing both listening to rainforest communities and implementing their solutions. Our understanding of anti-colonialism and how to embody this principle has grown and will continue to grow through our commitment to the continuous learning process. We recognize this statement will evolve and change over time.
To us, having an anti-colonial mindset means:
- Upholding the values of the communities we work with foremost, respecting both their knowledge and their boundaries.
- Seeking to understand the ways in which Indigenous, Traditional, and local people in the places we work have been dispossessed from their ancestral, historical, ecological, cultural, and socially relevant lands through capitalism, colonialism, and other forms of oppression.
- Recognizing not all Indigenous People have been colonized and that not all who have encountered ‘others’ and/or have been colonized are Indigenous.
- Acknowledging multiple definitions of being “Indigenous,” particularly in-group definitions that are shared by Indigenous partners.
- Using the pre-existing categories, names, practices, and tools for measurement and analysis used by the people of each place.
- Committing to continuous learning, unlearning, and re-learning, including recognizing when we cause harm and checking our own assumptions.
- Holding and respecting multiple perspectives at the same time and bridging the gaps between diverse ways of thinking and perceiving the world.
- Bringing these principles and practices to all agreements and partnerships with actors and organizations external to the rainforest communities we work with.
- Recognizing our relative power to encourage anti-racist and anti-colonial ideas and actions in a global audience.
- Recognizing the intrinsic value and rights of the Earth and all life.
HIH is continuously and intentionally learning how to better tangibly live this anti-colonial mindset and be an anti-racist organization headquartered in the US, through recruitment and retention, and other policies, practices, and cultural norms. We are led in this work by a board-staff Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Working Group.