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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Delta Institute



Delta Institute can only be successful in its mission if we direct our capacities, power, and collaborations toward creating greater equity and reversing institutional racism. We regard environmental challenges as intersectional issues that reveal disparities in how we allocate resources and value communities. We envision a region where ALL communities and landscapes thrive. This has not been the case since the forced removal of Kickapoo, Kaskaskia, Potawatomi, Peoria, Wyandotte, Delaware, and many other tribes from their ancestral lands. We recognize that racial animus, segregation, and institutional inequities have shaped our region and robbed us all of our potential.

At our core, we are an organization that is defined by its people and communities accelerating change, it is written into our very name. We do not minimize the challenges inherent to creating change, and believe it is part of our mission to interrogate ugly histories and current realities, and constantly learn, test, and collaborate until a new, better way of doing things is the standard. We believe that the solutions to our most difficult equity and environmental challenges are already being articulated in the communities that are impacted, and we seek to be a strong partner in securing resources, technical assistance, and government capacity to amplify and accelerate these remedies. To that end, we commit to building and sustaining an organization that represents all communities, to creating an atmosphere where we can bring our full selves to our work, and to directing our energy, diverse perspectives, and broad capacities to the task of renewing our region.

We have formally engaged in Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) work since 2016 and created an ad hoc DEI committee including our staff, board, and auxiliary board in April 2019. We approached this as a process of continuous improvement, reflection and learning with the goal of integrating DEI into our programs and operations. This process includes the following ongoing activities:

Delta’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to approve this Statement of Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in March 2021. We at Delta are using this Statement to sizably inform all of our policies, processes, practices, and partnerships, including our strategic plan. We are an organization of iteration, evaluation, and continuous improvement, and this includes how we best create thriving landscapes and communities throughout the Midwest. For questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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