Racial Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

Friends of the Chicago River is committed to the principals of racial diversity, equity, and inclusion and we are working to ensure that we plan and execute our public policy and planning initiatives, projects, and programs in an equitable fashion and contribute to the creation of a just society. Friends' board of directors and staff worked together over many months to develop the following pillars and goals which will guide our work and our next strategic plan.


  • Increase the racial diversity of the board, staff, and volunteers

  • Establish avenues for entry, mentorship, and advancement of diverse talent in the field of conservation

  • Ensure equitable administrative best practices are embedded across the organization


  • Incorporate equity as a core component of existing and new programs, projects, and initiatives

  • Increase understanding of community held beliefs regarding nature, environmental health, and the river to inform our programs and projects so they are relevant to a diverse audience

  • Understand the scope of Friends’ existing efforts and find opportunities to expand further into underserved communities


  • Execute multi channel media and communications approaches to reach, resonate and inspire culturally diverse audiences

  • Seek community input from local voices to inform river-edge planning and use

  • Expand public access and programming in underserved communities