Commitment to Anti-Racism

The environmental movement in the United States has been dominated by white superiority, resulting in a white washed movement with little diversity and gaps in solutions. This has certainly been the case for watershed restoration. Plaster Creek has been neglected and abused since colonization, specifically through logging, agriculture, mining, industry, and urban development. The result is a landscape in which low-income communities that live downstream receive the brunt of pollution and flooding. Everyone who dwells within the watershed contributes to the condition of the creek, but historically not everyone has been included in planning for solutions that address the problems. For the creek and its surrounding communities to fully flourish, all voices must be heard and amplified to develop creative and equitable solutions.

Plaster Creek Stewards is committed to working for communities that are disproportionately impacted by environmental injustice and environmental racism. We know that those who live downstream are the experts in their own neighborhoods and communities. We recognize that this watershed cannot heal without the healing of human relationships, past and present. Plaster Creek Stewards seeks to learn alongside our fellow watershed residents as we together develop the knowledge and skills needed to restore health and beauty to our shared watershed.

Land Acknowledgement

The Plaster Creek Watershed occupies a portion of the ancestral home of the Hopewell people (Goodall Focus), and more recently the Anishinaabe Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi nations. We are grateful for the way these early inhabitants cared for the land and loved it. We are informed by their teachings and strive to honor their example through ongoing education and restoration work.

Additional Resources

NAACP - Environmental & Climate Justice
Indigenous Environmental Network
Intersectional Environmentalist - The Environmental Justice Movement is Rooted in Black History
Green 2.0 Report: The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations: Mainstream NGOs, Foundations & Government Agencies
Green 2.0 Report: Beyond Diversity: A Roadmap to Building an Inclusive Organization
Outdoor Afro - Grand Rapids
Latino Outdoors - Grand Rapids