"When we look around the table, we can see who's not there."

Jun 10, 2020

Credit Nathan Dumlao/Unsplash

The St. Louis River Alliance has added their voice to the growing chorus of organizations taking a second look at their diversity and inclusiveness and seeing room for improvement.

"It's not important what we've done right," says Kris Eilers, the organization's executive director. "What we've done right still isn't producing results." 

Dear Community Members,The St. Louis River Alliance Board of Directors and staff express our outrage of the murder of George Floyd, and the continued pain and trauma this and other violent actions like this have caused black, indigenous, and people of color. And we understand that those injustices also negatively impact everyone. The SLRA has been serving the community for 23 years, but sadly, we remain a mostly white organization. And that is not an accurate picture of who we are as a community. We pledge to do better, to not just talk about wanting a more diverse organization, but to work harder to build relationships and by partnering with organizations that represent people of color. We will work with intention to open the doors wide, to create opportunities, to help people of color gain more access to the River and to the green spaces in our community so healing can take place.  We acknowledge that there is a connection between environmental health and the health of citizens, and that black, indigenous, and POC suffer dis-proportionally from pollution-related illnesses, (including COVID -19) and disease. People of color are also dis-proportionally affected by lack of access to clean water and green spaces. And we acknowledge the systemic racism that causes those disparities. We pledge to work with urgency, to listen to the community, to be anti-racist. The SLRA encourages our white members and friends to join with us to do the work of anti-racism and to help build a more equitable and safe community. Please follow the link for helpful resources.  https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race We have sorely missed the mark and look forward to building a richer community that recognizes the value of all our diverse, beautiful people.    Sincerely,  Kris Eilers, Executive Director Joel Vikre, PresidentLibby Bent, Vice PresidentHolly Johnson, TreasurerCourtney Kowalczak, Board MemberJudy Gibbs, Board MemberAndrea Crouse, Board MemberCarson Main, Project LeaderAlyssa Johnson, Marketing & Outreach Coordinator Contact information: kris@stlouisriver.org