Resilient communities seek out the voices that are not being heard and make sure that everyone is able to participate and that everyone counts.
*Participation is open and inclusive. No one has to pay to join the Alliance.
*Design and solution-seeking efforts engage all, from learning to imagining to implementation.
*In particular, resilient communities seek to unlearn racist and colonialist habits and to correct injustices -- together.
*Resilient communities are communities of care where everyone belongs.
*Social injustice is environmental injustice, and we are committed to regenerating equitable and abundant life here in the Mystic River Watershed for generations to come.
How we build justice into everything we do...
Decision-Making: Our By-Laws guarantee that the Alliance for the Mystic River Watershed will be co-governed by Mashantucket and Eastern Pequots and local Youth, in addition to Directors from each town.
Cultural Learning: The Alliance seeks opportunities to learn about all of the cultures living here. We incorporate richly diverse historical perspectives into Alliance Gatherings (Oyster Culture, Paddle Culture...) and Currents Blog. We rely on our Cultural Learning Advisors to help expand our consciousness.
Equity of Access: One of our Learning Advisors is specifically charged with ensuring there are no barriers to participation. Additionally, we will never charge a membership fee.
Youth Council: Young people are often left out of civic discussions, decision-making, and disaster risk reduction. Yet we know that the best way to address the feeling of powerlessness/hopelessness that is accompanying climate change is to engage in a positive civic action cycle. We are working in partnership with the Marine Science Magnet High School and other local schools and organizations to guide the creation of a thriving ecosystem of participation.
Relationships Beyond Human: Environmental Justice can also include ways to raise awareness of and support the care for all beings in our watershed. Alliance Gatherings often focus on ecological relationships (Honor the River, Oysters, Why We Love Our Swamps (blog)...). Our Water and Habitat Quality Working Group is the largest in the Alliance, with a third of our Allies choosing to align themselves with the stewardship of and advocacy for quality of life for all.
Correcting Injustice: The Alliance always seeks opportunities to both raise awareness about and to correct injustice. We have already identified mapping, food access, water quality, and historical representation issues where we can have an immediate impact. Longer term, we are investigating co-stewardship, regenerative design, and other ways of re-rooting our actions in Indigenous knowledge, as well as accessible infrastructures, and pathways for genuine youth participation in policy-making.