Equality of opportunity and treatment regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, language, culture, national origin, religious commitments, age, and ability status is an ideal to which FLOW is fully committed.
In the arena of environmental quality and policy, this ideal is far from being realized. For example, pollution disproportionately affects racial minorities and those with lower incomes. Governmental processes that provide opportunities for public participation, comment, and contributions to decision-making often do not take into account the needs of these same communities for access to information and being heard.
Organizations like FLOW that seek to promote equal treatment of all people and access for all members of society to environmental decision-making by our government must model the same values. Intentional and reflective awareness of the intersections of community, justice, equality, and public trust are integral to FLOW’s mission, vision, and values. Our deep commitment is expressed by our hiring practices, board membership, and engagement on policy issues with front-line communities most affected by, and knowledgeable about, the effect of environmental decision-making on their lives. From the inception of policy conversations, FLOW as a daily practice incorporates and amplifies historically excluded voices.
In summer 2021, as FLOW was commemorating our 10th year of partnering with you to defend Great Lakes water, we invited all to help us celebrate. We asked you to share expressions of your own love of water in a campaign we called “Find your FLOW.” Miles Dupuis Carey and Ryan O’Marra responded with this short animation, which we first shared as part of FLOW’s message of hope to kick off 2022. FLOW lifts up this expression of interconnectedness and belonging, critical elements in our partnership to sustain Great Lakes waters that are healthy, public, and protected for all.
“‘The Great Lakes belong to all of us,’ is a powerful message, and it’s been a privilege for me over the past couple of years to work with FLOW on Pride-themed art pieces that find new layers of meaning in those words—not “all of us” as an abstract idea, but all of the beautifully diverse people who call the Great Lakes home—truly all of us. In reshaping that message into a circle, I wanted to take the question of belonging one step further. Instead of ownership over a resource, I want us to see our relationship to the water as one of loving reciprocity. Not only do the Great Lakes belong to all of us, but all of us belong to the Great Lakes.
“The circular design—inspired by the graphic style of Geoff Holstad—shifts between the colors of the Progress Pride Flag and a color palette drawn from the woods and lakes that I love as a reminder that trans rights, racial justice, and queer liberation are always rooted in belonging, place, and environmental justice.”
—Miles Dupuis Carey, 2022