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.