We believe that the benefits of Sonoma County’s agricultural and open space lands should be equitably available to everyone – no matter their skin color, age, socioeconomic status, ability or disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, country of origin, or language. We commit to protecting, preserving, supporting, and creating access to these lands so that they benefit all.

We recognize that exclusion and displacement are woven into the history of land in America. We also recognize that the historical roots and ongoing inequities in land conservation have made it so that agricultural and open space lands are not always safe, welcoming, and inclusive spaces for everyone. As a community-created organization, and in light of the role government agencies have played in creating and perpetuating systemic inequalities, we are committed to being a part of daylighting and dismantling these systems within the work of land conservation.

We acknowledge that our work to create equitable access to agricultural and open space land is ongoing. In the summer of 2020, we formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee and have worked with a leading equity and justice consultant on a series of staff trainings focused on understanding and dismantling systemic inequities and our part in the system.

Now, as directed in our community-driven Vital Lands Initiative, we are developing a roadmap to infuse principles of equity and inclusion throughout our work. Our roadmap will focus on the following goals:

  • Empower management with tools and direction to lead
  • Enhance Ag + Open Space competency and commitment to DEI initiatives
  • Embed institutional change in operations and culture
  • Focus on recruitment and hiring to diversify and retain talent
  • Expand and deepen community engagement/institutional relationships with a DEI lens
  • Ensure commitments are sustained into the future