New Report Tells the Story of National Wildlife Federation’s Equity & Justice Journey

In order to save wildlife and ourselves, we need to ensure that all people have access to clean air and water, safe communities, easy and equitable access to nature, and protection from the ravages of climate change. The National Wildlife Federation must embed equity and justice into our organizational policies, practices, and programs to become a place that welcomes, retains, and celebrates people from all backgrounds and walks of life. We will be most successful in our work when we value people’s humanity, appreciate and integrate their perspectives, and work to make our systems more equitable. Pursuing equity and justice as a core tenet of the Federation is essential to ensuring people and wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world.

The newly released report on the National Wildlife Federation’s equity and justice journey from 2016 to 2022 details the work we’ve done to transform an organization founded in 1936 into one that can do meaningful and relevant work in 2023 and beyond. This snapshot in time provides many insights into the Federation’s work thus far including a timeline of our progress, lessons learned along the way, our current work priorities, challenges we’ve faced, and areas we can grow.

Highlights from the Report

The timeline provides an overview of the arc of this journey. Readers will notice themes and patterns that have moved the work forward over time.

Lessons that have been learned from the journey provide a framing beyond “success and failure” for the reader’s learning and understanding.

“Diversity and inclusion are outcomes of creating an equitable and just culture. Initially, diversity was the focal point of this work. After numerous learning opportunities, including from the Equity and Environment Leadership Cohort led by Angela Park, those leading equity work at the Federation now understand that creating an equitable culture can result in greater retention and recruitment of staff of color and other staff with marginalized identities. Getting people in the door is not enough; there must also be a safe and welcoming culture in place to greet them.”

The ‘Ongoing Journey’ section summarizes milestones and ongoing work at the federation, along with staff stories that illuminate the impacts of these shifts.

Considering challenges and areas of growth provides context for some of the current limitations of doing equity and justice work within the National Wildlife Federation and identifies current gaps that will be important to consider as the work moves forward.

“Retention of employees of color is one result of effective equitable culture change. This remains a challenge, as employees of color depart the organization at a faster rate than white employees. Investigation into these patterns can help to identify where the next phases of equity and justice culture change work should be focused.”

We hope that this resource will help our supporters learn more about the critical work being done at the National Wildlife Federation to make our organization more equitable and just – so that we can continue to work on issues that benefit our shared environment and the wildlife and people that call it home.

Published: May 3, 2023