I am proud to say that Rainforest Action Network endorses the Movement for Black Lives Platform.
Rainforest Action Network has a 30 year history of working at the intersection of preserving forests, protecting the climate and upholding 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.
We endorse this platform because of its urgency and because it is directly in line with the mission, vision and values of RAN. Even more, we know that is impossible for us to fulfill our mission, achieve our vision, or embody those values if we do not actively address the long-standing crisis of racial inequity and racial injustice.
We know that we must address this issue 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.
In other words, there is no neutral ground in this fight. To do nothing is to accept and support the status quo. That is why RAN has been working for the past few years to incorporate an explicit and intentional racial justice and racial equity analysis into our internal structure and our programmatic work.
This work is ongoing, difficult, prone to error and far from complete — but we are not looking for completion. As a predominantly white organization in a traditionally white-led movement, we are looking for transition and evolution. Just as we aim to convert profit-driven systems of environmental destruction and human rights abuses toward accountability and sustainability, we also aspire to transform our own implicit biases, our own organizational practices, and our own movement’s priorities more explicitly toward inclusion, racial equity and justice.
RAN has long subscribed to the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing that prescribe inclusive, shared leadership and just relationships between participants from different cultures, politics and organizations. Likewise, over many years RAN has developed and constantly revised (with input from many partners) our own Guidelines for Working with Indigenous Peoples and Frontline Communities that outlines protocols and expectations for developing honest and authentic partnerships in order to run effective campaigns and achieve our mission.
We feel the Movement for Black Lives platform falls directly in line with these practical and ideological guidelines and will help sharpen RAN’s approach to many of our core values, including challenging racial injustice, working for systemic change, and recognizing the intersectionality within systems of oppression.
This platform was created and unveiled by a collective of more than 60 organizations from across the country. It is self-described as “a response to the sustained and increasingly visible violence against Black communities in the U.S. and globally” and an open articulation and statement of support for the ambitions and work of Black people.
RAN looks forward to supporting this effort as effectively and honestly as possible.