Today, we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poorPope Francis, Laudato Si
Eight years ago, JVC Northwest officially adopted ecological justice as one of our core values alongside social justice. Ecological justice is both social and environmental justice. We understand ecological justice to mean the interconnection and interdependence of all beings and the responsibility of humans to co-exist in harmony for the well-being of our earth community. The health of human communities is inseparably linked to the health of our natural systems. Historic and ongoing degradation of environmental systems operate parallel to the marginalization of and suppression of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color throughout the Northwest. Our vision for ecological justice is a sustainable Northwest where all live justly and equitably in harmony with all creation.
In pursuit of that vision, not only do we encourage our JVs and JV EnCorps members to engage in eco-friendly practices and care for our common home, but we as staff strive to live out and promote ecological justice as a core value in our workplace. Due to our efforts, JVC Northwest has been named one of the 100 Best Green Companies to work for in Oregon by Oregon Business Magazine since the list’s inception in 2010. In 2018, JVC Northwest received Gold Level Certification from Clackamas County Leaders in Sustainability, the highest level certification for sustainable practices.
As part of our commitment to ecological justice, we have a number of service placements that focus on ecological justice, from placements that uphold the rights of Indigenous Alaskans to practice subsistence living, to ensuring equal access to recreate outdoors. You can read more about our eco-focused placements below, along with some resources we have found helpful as we engage in this work. We know there is so much more work to be done to promote ecological justice; if you have ideas for resources to share or advocacy or education actions to take, we would love to hear from you.