Our mission is to protect and advance the Environmental Right to Know (ERTK). To achieve this mission, we apply three key strategies:
- Information: We develop, envision, and critique practices and tools to generate, analyze, steward, and improve environmental data and information. We take a feminist approach to contextualize information with its social, political, and personal histories; question how different types of knowledge are perceived as more legitimate than others; and respond in ways that value diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
- Boundary Org: We connect across organizations and agencies to demonstrate problems and solutions for better environmental governance. We are a trusted partner and resource to diverse groups, including minoritized communities, communities of practice, academics, and civil servants. We support communication across them in meaningful ways but act with awareness of the inherent power inequalities across such groups.
- Network: We foster a thriving, cross-disciplinary network of activists, researchers, and the wider community envisioning how environmental data and information can support governance and be governed democratically in a manner that promotes environmental data justice. We cultivate spaces that promote non-hierarchical and open engagement with integrity.
We believe all people should be able to know about environmental conditions of concern affecting their livelihoods and maintain rights of consent, refusal, and self-determination in environmental decision-making; that the collection and stewardship of environmental information should equip people, communities, and workers to protect their health and support the flourishing of surrounding ecosystems; and that all people, but especially minoritized communities who experience disproportionate harms, should have equitable access to comprehensive and legible environmental information in order to seek redress for past and accumulated harms, if they so desire, and build relations that emphasize responsibility and accountability.
We assert that improving the ERTK will improve environmental governance and therefore environmental and public health outcomes. Governance does not just mean the colonial state but also communities and tribes practicing self-sovereignty and self-determination. Equitable governance to us includes people having the critical information necessary to advocate for their well-being and build decision-making power. We aim to support communities seeking equitable governance by working with them to build tools and tailor data infrastructures to reach their unique goals. We do this by focusing on information quality and potentials alongside relationships, ways of working, and interaction spaces across the system, in order to support holistic changes in the ways participants think about challenges and engage with each other.
We seek to create organizational practices that model the following values:
We believe that people have the right to know about the status of and factors influencing their environment and its management. Information about the environment, environmental research, and environmental policies must be easily found and provided with proper context to make the information legible to the public.
Anti-Fascism, Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression
We stand against all forms of oppression, racism, and inequality.
Environmental and Human Health
We believe that it is essential for environmental governance to be designed to support environmental and human health for present and future generations, rather than to protect business interests and bureaucracies.
We are committed to respectfully recognizing and struggling together with differences created by race, gender, ethnicity, ability, citizenship, class, sexual orientation, and technological access.
We support justice and equity approaches to climate change and stand in solidarity with principles of environmental justice and climate justice. We are part of a larger community of data justice, which works in all societal areas to promote and adhere to the principles and practices of informed consent, and to provide broad access to useful data, including data that can be used to show discriminatory and inegalitarian practices.
We promote collaborative, horizontal, transparent, and participatory knowledge-making and governance. We think it is important for funding mechanisms and advisory committees for both public and private bodies to include affected laypeople on their teams in order to ensure broad participation.
Responsivity and Proactivity
We promote an honest and nimble response to pressing issues, and proactive construction of more just environmental governance. We think it is important for agencies and organizations to continually reassess their models for data collection, storage, dissemination, and collaboration to allow for innovative and proactive improvements to environmental management and governance.