Equity & Justice

“The National Wildlife Federation is at the beginning of a long but essential journey to become an organization that champions belonging, where we bring people together to do big things for communities and wildlife. Our vision is to put people first, center equity and justice in everything we do, and combat systems of oppression and other injustices that impede our ability to achieve our mission. By living up to our core values and committing to this vision, the National Wildlife Federation can become an organization that fully welcomes, retains, and celebrates staff, volunteers, and supporters from all backgrounds.”

- Chanté Coleman, Senior Vice President of Equity and Justice

The National Wildlife Federation believes that in order to save wildlife and ourselves, we need to ensure that all people have access to clean air and water, safe communities, easy and equitable access to nature, and protection from the ravages of climate change. These basic needs, equally necessary and urgent for all people, are foundational to bringing the conservation movement and ethos into the 21st century.

people observing plants in nature

In order to do this, we must operationalize and embed equity and justice into our organizational policies, practices, and programs. Doing this will help the National Wildlife Federation be a place that welcomes, retains, and celebrates people from all backgrounds and walks of life, truly living up to our core values and achieving our mission. We will be a safe and inclusive organization that attracts talented people who are excited to be a part of the Federation. As a result, we will be more strategic, effective, wide-reaching, and powerful than we have ever been before, living up to our ideal of being a big tent organization. We know we will be most successful when we are able to bring people together. Only by achieving true diversity and working effectively across differences can we change, grow, and learn to become a 21st century wildlife organization, ensuring people and wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Additionally, we have developed our 2020 Equity and Justice Strategic Plan where you can see how equity is deeply tied to our mission and the ways in which we will continue to broaden and expand this work.

NWF Equity and Justice Journey Report Cover

A Snapshot from 2016—2022

This report includes a timeline of our equity journey, lessons learned along the way, our ongoing work, and challenges and areas of growth as we move forward. Explore this report to learn about the Federation’s equity and justice work over the years with insights and stories from staff.

View the Report

Our Statement

The National Wildlife Federation strives to increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in all elements of our work and with our partners, to support the interdependent needs of wildlife and people in a rapidly changing world. To live up to our values of collaboration, empowerment, inclusivity, mindfulness, and a focus on our mission, we believe:

We are better collaborators and will only achieve our mission when our staff and partners reflect the full diversity of our country, including but not limited to: race, gender, ethnicity, sexual identity, socio-economic status, age, ability, religion, and political philosophy.

We can carry out our work with greater mindfulness and inclusivity if we recognize the social, economic, and political contexts that shaped the early environmental and conservation movements, and resulted in cultural biases that permeate our institutions today. Only by understanding and addressing these biases will we justly and equitably engage with one another while pursuing our conservation goals.

We work more effectively by empowering staff, affiliates, members, and partners to support and ensure that this commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice is incorporated into our vision, organizational structure, budget, and work.

We recognize the urgency of this work and are committed to the ongoing changes that are necessary to fully incorporate diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice into our structure and values to fulfill our mission.

If you would like to learn more, please reach out to Chanté Coleman, colemanc@nwf.org.

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Where We Work

More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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Regional Centers and Affiliates