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Our 15 Core Commitments to Equity

As an anti-racist organization, CVNMEF is committed to identifying, exploring and challenging factors of inequity, and the impacts they have on our organization, our systems, our staff, and the communities we serve. We also believe that the most effective way to achieve diversity, equity and inclusion is to interrogate and dismantle the hallmarks of white supremacy culture within our organization, our structures, and the culture our organization operates within. Therefore, we view our equity work as an ongoing process of learning, evaluation, honest accountability and interrogation to continuously grow and evolve to achieve true equity. 

In keeping with these values, CVNMEF has adopted the following core equity commitments:

  1. Our Board and organizational leaders are committed to equity. Our organizational bylaws are aligned with our equity commitments, and our organizational leadership and Board are committed to the ongoing interrogation and dismantling of white supremacy hallmarks.
  2. We value Board and staff connection. We strive to intentionally create space for staff and/or Board members to connect with one another and celebrate each other’s strengths and accomplishments.
  3. We are committed to dedicated equity expertise and capacity. We believe dedicated staff and space for ongoing equity engagement are imperative to achieving our equity commitments and values. We also strive to integrate and make available resources and spaces that support all staff and Board in engaging in our equity process.
  4. We embody a learning-centered culture. We value our employee’s  professional development and growth and strive to create opportunities for all to grow and thrive within the organization. We also believe in solutions-oriented troubleshooting, and creating space for ongoing learning when we are faced with challenges. We believe we do not need to be “the experts”, but rather view ourselves as lifelong students of the world around us, and value honesty, humility, and acknowledging “what we don’t know”. There is no perfection in equity, but rather it is an ongoing dynamic to manage and a daily intentional practice.
  5. We embody a human-centered culture. We believe in valuing our employees through recognizing their successes and hard work, supporting individual leadership and strengths and striving for collaboration. We are also committed to offering supportive benefits and competitive pay that can give staff the flexibility they need to achieve work-life harmony and long-term professional resilience.
  6. We value compassionate management. We have a cultural commitment to learn from our mistakes without shame or blame, assume positive intent in our engagement with one another, and create pathways for all staff to learn and grow. We believe in giving clear feedback and mentoring employees so that all staff have the resources and support they need to succeed.
  7. We value respectful and compassionate interpersonal relationships. We strive to center humility and kindness in how we interact with one another, and respect the work and expertise we each bring into the workplace each day. We honor and celebrate our differences that make us unique.
  8. We embrace vulnerability and organizational accountability. We are committed to creating safe spaces to be vulnerable, and to have the honest or hard conversations we need that help us grow as an organization.
  9. We are committed to challenging urgency. We recognize that the world we operate in has a sense of urgency that is ever-present. We strive to be aware of when urgency is present, and challenge urgency in community or policy settings that would otherwise pose as a barrier to equitable engagement.
  10. We value and honor abundant knowledge. We acknowledge and celebrate that there are many different forms of expertise, and value cultural and personal experience. We value the validity of different perspectives, and believe that multiple truths are present in any given circumstance.
  11. We are committed to flexible and intentional planning. We center equity and the interrogation of white supremacy culture in our planning processes to ensure that “how we do the work” is in line with our equity commitments. We believe in collaborative, flexible, and realistic planning that allows us to be innovative and adaptable given the constantly changing political sphere in which we operate.
  12. We strive to address obstacles to authentic community engagement. We believe that a healthy democracy is one in which all people are able to engage in the ways that they choose. We recognize that there are systems of inequity that have oppressed or pushed communities out of the civic process, and are committed to addressing those inequities. We do this by regranting and resourcing communities and frontline advocates, creating intentional strategies to address systemic barriers of engagement, and prioritizing achieving an equitable voting and policymaking process.
  13. We are committed to centering reciprocal partnerships in our work. We believe that we cannot achieve equitable policy wins without authentic community partnerships with those most impacted. We honor the relationships we build over the outcomes of our work, and are committed to a proactive policy framework that engages community partners from the development of our work through implementation. We also value operating at the speed of trust, and acknowledge the historic inequities and white supremacy origins of the environmental movement.
  14. We are committed to making pathways into the organization more accessible and attainable. We believe that a robust and intentional recruitment process is critical for creating accessible pathways into the organization. We also value strong policies that mitigate bias in the hiring process, and center culture fit to ensure new employees and Board members are committed to our equity values.
  15. We value ongoing organizational evaluation. We believe that ongoing evaluation is critical to achieve and manage long-term organizational change. We strive to create space for ongoing organizational evaluation across all of our systems, from program to individual performance, and more. We hold regular space for evaluations, and ensure that our equity commitments are centered in our evaluation processes. 

If you have any questions about CVNMEF and our Equity Commitments, please contact Arturo Castillo, Manager of Equity & Culture, at