Water, Conservation, & Racial Justice

Jun 4, 2020 | Environmental Justice

A message from the Executive Director and River Alliance Team.

Dear River Alliance Community,

On my first trip to paddle the Namekagon River, in my early days as executive director at River Alliance, I saw as many confederate flags as bald eagles.

Millions of Black and Brown people in America see danger where others see tranquility.

George Floyd was killed outside a local market by Minneapolis police. Breonna Taylor was killed by police in her Kentucky home. Ahmaud Arbery was killed by neighbors while out for a jog in Georgia.

Each was just trying to live their lives, in peace, when they were murdered. We share the outrage and grief of millions across the world.

River Alliance of Wisconsin condemns the anti-Black racism and police brutality that this moment has again revealed.

Today’s conservation movement must break from a history of indifference and hostility toward Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

Our team is committed to make change by following the lead of communities of color; the First Nations at the forefront of the fight against dangerous mining, the immigrant laborers who often feel the impact of agricultural runoff first, and the Black leaders determined to eliminate barriers to safe drinking water.

River Alliance of Wisconsin believes clean water is a right for all of us. The fight to ensure that our rivers, lakes and streams can be enjoyed by everyone continues. We know that environmental justice and social justice, like the waters we protect, are connected.

We will continue to take action and explore these issues in the context of our mission, our team, and our members.

There is much to do.

We invite you to join us.

Raj Shukla, Executive Director & the River Alliance Team

Photo courtesy J. Reddin, Mink River