Racial Justice and Racial Equity
For 30 years, RAN has fought to preserve forests, protect the climate and uphold human rights. Fighting against systemic injustice and partnering with communities on the frontlines of these efforts have been core values at RAN since its founding in 1985.
Challenging racial injustice and racial inequity falls directly in line with our mission, vision and values. We cannot fulfill our mission, achieve our vision, or embody our values if we do not actively address this fundamental system of oppression that informs every aspect of society.
We maintain that neutrality not an option. We must address the issue of racial inequity directly to avoid perpetuating unjust systems while we try to solve equally pressing — and intrinsically connected — issues such as stopping climate change, transitioning to a clean energy economy or preserving critical ecosystems.
Frontline and Indigenous Communities
RAN is committed to working with Indigenous communities and frontline communities directly impacted by profit-driven systems of injustice. We support the leadership of these communities in working on strategic and effective solutions to protect people and the planet.
We support Traditional and Indigenous Peoples’ rights, including the right to sovereignty, self-determination, reparations and the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) regarding decisions implicating customary rights on traditional lands. We support and work by the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing.
At RAN we believe that Indigenous peoples are the best stewards of rainforests and that protecting Indigenous forests is one of the best ways to slow climate change and uphold the rights of the people who depend on those forests.
Direct Support to Frontline Communities
RAN’s Community Action Grants are designed specifically to strengthen the capacity of Indigenous and frontline communities and to support grassroots leadership.
Indigenous and frontline communities suffer disproportionate impacts to their health, livelihoods and cultures from the effects of global climate change and from destructive and extractive industrial mega-projects.
From plantation expansion into rainforests to mountaintop removal coal mining; from illegal animal poaching to illegal land grabs; from massive water-source contamination to massive carbon pollution from profit-driven land management—frontline communities live with the highest environmental impacts and the related costs in human rights violations and species extinction.
Workers’ Rights and the Environment
Labor abuses and environmental destruction often go hand in hand. Where workers are exploited and their rights ignored, it’s common to find that environmental regulations are also being violated and the health of local communities and workers put at risk.
It’s no coincidence that when profits are put over people and the planet, the same dirty industries are some of the worst polluters and the most unsafe for workers. From the extractive, extreme energy companies of mountaintop removal coal mining and tar sands oil production, to the destructive industry of Conflict Palm Oil, RAN supports a just transition for workers and local communities.
When labor rights and the environment are fought for side by side, we not only ensure safer working conditions, we also work to build a future that is just, economically viable and climate-stable.
RAN’s Theory of Change and Racial Equity
Our focus on challenging corporate power for people and planet has not changed in the past 30 years.
What we are hoping to change is how we do that work — we being the staff at RAN, the greater environmental movement, and society at large.
By consciously applying a racial equity analysis to our work, we are working to challenge the implicit biases we all hold and to create a broader, more inclusive, and more effective organization and movement.