At the June 1st Board Meeting, the Trustees of the Friends of the Blue Hills voted to adopt a diversity statement that had been in the works for two years. Notably, the timing of this agenda item coincided with the news of racially-based incidents in the United States including a non-compliant dog owner who called the police on a Black birder in New York City’s Central Park. These recent events of violence against communities of color underscore the necessity of our organization’s responsibility to create a community of respect, acceptance, and inclusion while amplifying the voices of all groups. Friends of the Blue Hills acknowledges a continuing need to evaluate and revise its diversity efforts. Internally, the Board is working to expand its understanding of issues related to land use and is tasked this summer with reading Lauret Savoy’s book Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape, a book that explores human stories of migration, silence, and displacement in an attempt to make sense of land and its troubled past. The Board is looking forward to robust conversation on issues raised in this book, by our constituents, and by the news. Our Principles of Diversity statement, included below, is a call for all of us to do the work needed to remain relevant, ensure equal access, and develop sustainable solutions to problems facing the Blue Hills Reservation.
In closing, we want to acknowledge the Native Land which we now call the Blue Hills Reservation. For resources on the land you recreate, live, and work on, visit https://native-land.ca.
Principles of Diversity
The Friends of the Blue Hills strives to consciously create an environment of respect, acceptance, and inclusion and to support ethnic, racial, religious, ability, and socio-economic diversity among all the organization’s constituencies. The organization affirms and values:
- Belief in the dignity and humanity of every person and a commitment to understanding individual and group differences.
- Generosity of spirit, thinking beyond one’s immediate self-interest and sharing talents freely with others.
- Fostering diverse viewpoints.
- Openness to new ideas and rejection of stereotypical thinking.
- Honesty, kindness, integrity, courage, humor, and empathy.
FBH is committed to recognizing the importance of communication and to encouraging dialogue among all constituencies; and to recognizing and responding to individual and institutional prejudices, both overt and subtle, based on gender, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, and physical and mental ability.
The Friends of the Blue Hills is:
- working internally and externally to consciously create an environment of respect and inclusion through diversity efforts
- striving for ethnic, racial, religious, ability, and socio-economic diversity among all the constituencies of the organization
- striving to increase awareness, build mutually rewarding relationships and foster collaboration with a broad range of business, community, and political leaders and other individuals from diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences
- offering a variety of programs to include the wider community
Aware of the complexity of diversity issues, the Friends of the Blue Hills acknowledges a continuing need to evaluate and revise its diversity efforts. This process is critical to remaining relevant and developing sustainable solutions to our most pressing problems facing the Blue Hills Reservation. With a work plan in place stemming from our Strategic Planning Board Retreat in September 2019, we will move forward apace.