Over the last several weeks, Charleston Waterkeeper has made a deliberate effort to listen, learn, and reflect on the voices in our community demanding equity and justice.
We recognize that racism is intertwined with our culture and society. Communities of color bear an outsized burden of contamination, degradation, pollution, and loss of access not fully acknowledged in clean water advocacy.
Our community’s activism is inspiring. In that same spirit, we ask everyone to stand up, to show up, and to speak up for clean water. Today we ask the same of ourselves to deepen our commitment to justice. Our work will be guided by these principles:
• We acknowledge our implicit biases. We commit to an ongoing examination of our role in the cultural and institutional systems that are not working and force the burden of pollution on communities of color.
• We listen to and seek understanding from those most impacted by pollution. We commit to educating ourselves and making our expertise and program resources more available.
• We speak up by empowering the silenced and uplifting the voices for clean water that were active before us. We commit to advocating for clean water solutions that are equitable.
Moving forward, we will examine our organization and develop specific actions to incorporate these principles into all we do to provide clean, healthy water for our community.
We make this statement now to hold ourselves accountable.
Clean water is a universal right. That right weaves a common thread through cultures all over the world. We share one harbor. It is fed by the daily ebb and flood of the tide through a network of rivers and creeks that touch all parts of our community.
We exist to make sure our shared waters are healthy and protected so everyone has access to and can enjoy and benefit from clean water. In that effort, we will never waiver.
Water Quality Scientist
Creek Watcher Program Manager
Board of Directors
Dr. Vijay Vulava