IDEAL Committee

IDEAL Committee

WMEAC’s IDEAL Initiative was formed in response to environmental justice issues in our community. The IDEAL Committee’s goal is to build a diverse, inclusive, and robust community prepared to tackle current environmental issues that resonate with all of our community. This includes WMEAC’s work with water protection and climate resilience, which intersect directly with environmental justice.

The IDEAL initiative started in 2013 when WMEAC recognized a need for greater inclusion in its policies, programs and outreach. Since then, it has become one of WMEAC’s most active standing committees and supported WMEAC’s efforts to engage community organizations and successfully guided the organization in achieving Partners for a Racism-Free Community Level 1 certification WMEAC has benefitted from more inclusive internal policies and hiring practices, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

The IDEAL committee works along staff and the Board of Directors to ensure that the values of environmental justice, decoloniality & settler harm reduction, inclusion, diversity, community, authenticity, integrity, sustainability, collaboration, equity and intersectionality are each uniquely understood and reflected in all aspects of the organization’s work. The IDEAL Committee provides expertise that has and will continue to guide WMEAC’s strategic plan, hiring practices, leadership accountability and growth as an organization.

IDEAL’s members provide expertise and experience from non-profits to community organizing, academia, business, public health and more. Through the hard work and diligence of committee members and staff this committee has grown since 2017 to become an integral part of WMEAC providing critical guidance on grants, programming, strategic planning, board nominations and more.

WMEAC acknowledges that the system of coloniality brought by white settlers created long-lasting harm to people of color. This was accomplished through land theft of Native people as well as the exploitation of Black, Indigenous, & People of Color (BIPOC) communities for labor that built the wealth of the nation, including the legacies of wealth and funds that are now distributed through businesses, foundations and other philanthropic organizations.