INVITATION TO INCLUSIVITY AND AWARENESS FROM YOUR NCRA BOARD
By The NCRA Board, 7/9/19
The Board of Directors would like to acknowledge receipt of an anonymous letter in late May reflecting on the recent Recycling Update (RU) conference hosted on March 19, 2019. Part of the letter is presented at right while the entire three-page letter – with one name redacted, is available on the website.
The author self-identified as a supporter, community member, member of present and future generations, and a person of color. S/he addressed the board on uncomfortable RU content and generally inviting the organization to reflect on its role in rooting Zero Waste in environmental justice and ethnic equity.
First, we appreciate the courage it must have taken to share these reflections, let alone to attend RU again when the content and environment was previously experienced as alienating and disturbing. We understand that the invitation is less to draw attention to the individual’s discomfort but rather to reassess our role in contributing to a Zero Waste world that serves the urgent goals of ethnic equity, collaboration and inclusion. We hear you. We are grateful for you for speaking up.
We apologize for facilitating a conference that did not welcome all equitably and may have propagated microaggressions, such as depicting people of color performing undesirable behaviors while white people were shown demonstrating desired behaviors. We own the impact that our collective lack of attention to these details had on at least one attendee. For that, we apologize.
We accept the challenge to adopt inclusivity, collaboration and ethnic equity as a guiding mission at NCRA. We own our role as a board in crafting the content framework of RU and as a space for the diverse NCRA membership and non-members to explore and learn. Our intention is to serve all. We are committing to leveraging resources for our membership and broader communities to that aim.
We invite you to join us, your Board, to reflect on NCRA’s history and re-center our shared mission around diversity, equity, inclusion and collaboration. We are gathering a subcommittee to consider the resources available. Please, join us in this important work of reorienting our zero waste work to build a more just and inclusive movement.
Let us know your experience, thoughts, reflections and interest in joining the initiative at by completing the NCRA Inclusivity Survey. Also use it to share any resources you think will help on this journey. We would also appreciate hearing from anyone who would be willing to assist with organizing RU next year, helping to select RU speakers, or giving a presentation at RU that addresses environmental justice or related issues.
Responses – anonymous or signed can also be mailed to: NCRA, PO Box 5581, Berkeley, CA 94705-5581