What we value
Value 1: Care
We care for ourselves, others, and the world around us.
- Support staff members as individuals and employees.
- Remove barriers to wellness and transform sources of harm to build collective healing.
- Communicate respectfully with our team and the community.
- Understand, engage, and respect the people and communities most impacted by environmental harms, policy decisions, and our work.
Value 2: Relationship Building
Victories are built on strong, lasting, and reciprocal relationships with colleagues, partners, members, and decision-makers.
- Think about how our actions impact our coworkers and the people around us.
- Confer, and don’t assume where everyone stands, before taking action.
- Trust our partners and coworkers to accomplish our shared goals at their own pace.
- Meet communities where they are, and take time to listen to their needs. Listening includes not censoring others or taking negative feedback personally.
- Invest time and effort in building, strengthening, and growing old and new relationships.
- Broaden our relationships with partners, communities, and decision-makers so that they do not rest with a single staff member.
Value 3: Equity and Inclusion
We respect all people, regardless of color, ethnicity, place of origin, culture, language, age, sexuality, or gender.
- Work to understand our organization’s role in dismantling systems of oppression.
- Decenter ourselves and our organization, and support the communities, people, and places most impacted by our work.
- Identify power structures, including decision-making power, within our organization and among our partners, and seek out ways to share power.
- Create space to reflect on and challenge our internal organizational systems, leadership, and power structure.
- Welcome new ideas and ways of thinking.
- Value each other's differences and use diversity to make us stronger.
Value 4: Hope
We work and celebrate with creativity and optimism.
- Appreciate and celebrate each other as humans, teammates, and activists.
- Make room for creative ideas about how to approach old, unresolved problems.
- Approach big issues like climate change with optimism that we can make a positive impact.
- Validate and hold space for frustration, anger, sadness, doubt, pain, and struggle; but approach problems with creativity, flexibility, and hope.
- Recognize that wins aren’t possible if we can’t imagine them.
- Strive to have fun, and look for compassionate humor and joy in our work.
Value 5: Honesty and Integrity
We operate with honesty and integrity, balanced with compassion.
- Treat others, ourselves, and the world around us with respect and integrity—recognizing that truth, respect, and integrity can look different across cultures.
- Speak to what we know is factual, taking the time to become informed, and acknowledging when we do not have all of the information.
- Respect that not all truth and knowledge can be quantified or scientifically proven.
- Internally, operate with transparency, and share information and access to decision-making processes.
- Be realistic about our expectations and our capacity.
- Accept responsibility when we fall short.
Columbia Riverkeeper joins author Leah Thomas to unpack environmentalism, racism, and privilege and what it means to be an Intersectional Environmentalist, the title of her latest book
We empower people to care for the Columbia.
An Essay by Columbia Riverkeeper Staff Attorney, Simone Anter