*This statement is a living evolving statement. For equity work to be done well it must be evolving, ongoing, and reimagined as progress is made. We are committed to making progress aligned with this statement.
It is the intent of Baltimore Green Space to preserve green spaces and serve the community in a way that reinforces values of equity and environmental health. Our work has an emphasis on supporting under-resourced communities with limited access to green space towards protecting environmental space that supports community health and benefit of all.
The systemic racism caused by redlining and reinforced in multiple ways to destabilize and harm the black community is the present painful backdrop of the beautiful healing green spaces neighbors create and care for here in Baltimore City. Additionally, multiple systems of oppression still exist in Baltimore and beyond that perpetuate inequality and racial inequity.
It is the intent of Baltimore Green Space to engage in our work with an understanding of this racial oppression and to work deliberately with people of varying races, classes, genders, sexual orientations and gender identities. In our work Baltimore Green Space is prepared to actively educate staff, and board and to engage in activities to ensure our work supports equitable welcoming access to community green spaces.
Where are we now:
Leaders associated with the green spaces have historically and continue to serve on the board.
Our staff and board include leaders from a variety of cultures, races, backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities.
We employ minority businesses through contract work whenever possible.
We maintain consciousness and as appropriate advocate for change regarding language, practices, or other structures in city contracts, city & state wide partnership groups, grant agreements, or other procedural documents that whether intentionally or unintentionally rely on or benefit from structures of oppression.
We consciously and deliberately work to ensure that local leaders of color are included in all the conversations, conferences, and committees we are invited to participate in as thought leaders and/or representatives of Baltimore’s Green Spaces.
We recognize that our organizational efforts in this space are still in their formative stages, and that the importance of continuing to meet race and equity benchmarks is a top priority. We govern our current decision-making through the lens of where our race and equity strategy is headed, encapsulated below.
Where we are headed:
We aspire to ensure that the leadership of the sites we preserve is representative of the population of Baltimore and/or that communities historically impacted by racism and inequality are served well by the organization.
We are deliberately broadening our outreach strategies to ensure we are reaching more community leaders in Opportunity Zones and neighborhoods historically impacted by redlining.
We are raising funds to work with partners analyzing the current green space landscape and access to communities of color and underserved communities towards creating strategic preservation priorities. Some funds for this project have been secured and the project team has been composed.