Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Guiding Principles

Lopez Community Land Trust (LCLT) honors the Indigenous inhabitants of these islands, the Coast Salish. We recognize our rural agricultural history, and honor those who were denied the same opportunities of homesteaders to live on the island due to their identity, be they Indigenous, Chinese, Japanese, Black, Latinx or others of non-European descent heritage*. In addition, we wish to honor the history of Community Land Trusts, a movement deeply rooted in social change and justice. The first CLT in the United States rose in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement in Albany Georgia in 1969, as New Communities, INC. “a nonprofit organization to hold land in perpetual trust for the permanent use of rural communities” with the intention to “create a more equitable solution to land ownership and economic security” (Bob Swann).

LCLT commits to continuing our efforts of being a space for people of all identities and differences, including those of race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, tribe, caste, social-economic status, and language**.

We consider this document as guiding principles that are subject to change, adapt and grow as we continue to learn.

LCLT takes to heart the wisdom of Bryan Stevenson in his book Just Mercy that states tough problems in society need to be addressed by:

1. Getting proximate to the issue
2. Being willing to be uncomfortable
3. Changing the narrative
4. Never giving up.
5. Recognizing our own woundedness.

In order to address the issues of lack of diversity, equity, and inclusivity in our nation’s culture, LCLT commits to:

– Intentionally work towards creating a more diverse sustainable island community through our programs;
– Creating a welcoming space virtually and in-person; and,
– Being culturally, linguistically, and environmentally responsive to our community***


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* To learn more about Lopez Island and San Juan County (SJC) History, some good places to start are:
Samish Nation Timeline: https://www.samishtribe.nsn.us/who-we-are/timeline
Mitchell Bay Band on San Juan Island: https://www.historylink.org/File/21075
Chinese cannery workers in SJC: https://www.historylink.org/File/11197
Japanese cannery workers in SJC: https://www.historylink.org/File/11198
General timeline of PNW history and racist policy, emphasis on Oregon territory, but still instructive: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/civic/article/516558

**The Center for Community Land Trust Innovation policy came to the attention of Lopez Community Land Trust and was the initiative for creating our own diversity equity and inclusion policy, we drew inspiration from some of their language use:

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The Center for CLT Innovation is committed to supporting organizations that build a culture of belonging, actively inviting the contribution and participation of those who live or work in the place-based communities they serve. We are dedicated to removing barriers to participation and opening doors for representation, both in the organizations we support and in the Center itself, for people of all identities and differences, including those of race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, tribe, caste, social-economic status, and language. We recognize, too, that throughout the world these same identities and differences create systemic inequities in the ownership and use of real property. The Center is committed to promoting models of tenure that ensure more equitable access and more secure use of land, housing, and land-based resources by populations that have long been subject to exclusion or displacement by market forces and political elites https://cltweb.org/about/

***To read more on Racial Disparities and Climate Change, visit: https://psci.princeton.edu/tips/2020/8/15/racial-disparities-and-climate-change