Sierra Club Missouri Chapter Code of Conduct

At Sierra Club, we believe people are our most vital resource and that everyone deserves equitable access to opportunity, benefits, and the great outdoors. The Sierra Club Missouri Chapter’s equity values grow from our commitment to make equity, inclusion and justice integral to every part of our organization and our work. This document is for everyone who is involved with the Sierra Club in Missouri to build an understanding and practice of the conduct we expect from our staff and volunteers. The Missouri Chapter has Affirmative Standards of Conduct that provide pathways for accountability in instances where disputes cannot be resolved at the local level. One purpose of this document is to clearly communicate how we can reduce harm to the volunteers, staff and partners who are disproportionately impacted by social and environmental injustices as we work towards creating a more equitable, inclusive and just Sierra Club and world. To achieve this, it is critical to consider how society and institutions grant you privileges and/or target and marginalize you. Practicing these equity values will help assure a better Sierra Club and a better world for all of us.

The following sections are adopted from the National Sierra Club’s Equity Values and can be found in Sierra Club’s Equity and Practice Tools Workshop, which also includes a helpful Glossary of Terms.


Empathy is seeking to understand another person’s experience, perspective and feelings. The focus is not on how you would feel in the same situation, but is on relating to the other person’s experience and feelings to the best of your ability—recognizing that your own experiences, assumptions, biases and judgments impact your understanding.

Because we value empathy, Sierra Club staff and volunteers practice:

Humility: Listen deeply to, and show respect for people with identities, expressions, behaviors and ways of being and doing that are different than your own. Challenge any biases you have that prevent you from believing another person’s experience.

Reflecting back what you hear: When others communicate their experiences and feelings, communicate what you hear back to them, validate their responses and determine together what you can offer to meet expressed needs.

Recognizing each other’s humanity: Communicate in ways that honor each person’s inherent dignity and agency, including your own, and lead with respect and compassion. Contribute to an organizational culture in which each person's full humanity is recognized and affirmed.

Considering and responding to impact: Be aware of the impact of oppression on the people around you and the impact your actions can have, and shift behaviors to reduce harm.


Self-transformation is an ongoing process to strengthen understanding of your own relationship to power, privilege and oppression and to work towards equity and justice in yourself, your actions and your interactions.

Because we value self-transformation, Sierra Club volunteers and staff practice:

Self-awareness: Work continually to understand yourself and how you are shaped by systems of power, privilege and oppression; how you participate in these systems; how you may be both harmed by and benefit from inequity; and how you may contribute to inequity at Sierra Club.

Allyship: Recognize when inequity is present, take immediate action to interrupt business-as-usual, and work for long term solutions. Act in support of marginalized people, in accordance with their goals, and work to advance equity in your spheres of influence.

Self-care and community-care: Be aware of the impact of inequities on health and wellbeing and support the development of structures for community care. Be considerate of and support others’ physical and emotional wellbeing, while communicating your own needs or boundaries.


Just relationships are developed and maintained over time and built on a foundation of trust, justice, and respect. Just relationships are transformational as opposed to transactional—they support individual and collective ability to grow, thrive, and work effectively together beyond immediate needs.

Because we value just relationships, Sierra Club staff and volunteers practice:

Solidarity with impacted stakeholders: Consult and share resources, relationships and opportunities with people who represent those most impacted by the issues being worked on. Seek to understand and redress past harms on individuals and communities caused by Sierra Club’s work.

Honoring the time and energy of others: Recognize, appreciate and value the time, energy and resources of volunteers, colleagues and partners through affirmation and, where appropriate, compensation.

Constructive feedback and generative conflict: Provide and openly receive constructive feedback and proactively attend to conflict as an opportunity for learning and growth.

Mutual accountability: In your work with colleagues and partners, establish and follow through on shared commitments regarding transparent communication and processes for decision-making, consultation and evaluation. When needed, adapt commitments to support changing needs of marginalized communities.

Using correct gender pronouns for each other (He/ his, she /hers, or they/ them/theirs): Gender is fluid and therefore we do not accept a gender binary world (male or female). Before assuming someone's pronouns based on their appearance, you should ask!


The Sierra Club practices non-violence in our activities. We also practice non-violence in our communications with each other. Non-violent communication is a beautiful tool we have to address conflict, speak our truth, and generally communicate in a kind, caring and compassionate way. Some of these communication skills may be counter to the way we are used to talking to each other, and about one another. We ask that every staff member and volunteer at the Missouri Chapter make an effort to practice these communication skills, and learn to use them in every interaction.

Because we value non-violence, Sierra Club staff and volunteers practice:

Speaking from personal experience: we cannot speak for others personal experience, we can only speak for ourselves. We should never assume another person’s experience is the same as our own. Therefore, we should not use generalizing statements or speak for others. A good way to begin this practice is to use ‘I’ statements. For example, one could say ‘I am frustrated this meeting is taking too long’, rather than ‘You’re taking up too much time’.

Making space, taking space: All of us have different levels of comfortability with taking up space. If you are someone who speaks a lot in group conversations, try to focus on listening. If you are someone who is quiet or shy, try out being more outspoken. This is a helpful practice in intentional conversations as well as informal spaces.

Meet people where they are and call each other “in”: We are an inclusive, learning environment. When someone makes a hurtful, racist, sexist, transphobic (or other) comment we must address it head on and call each other “in” to discuss how that comment or action was hurtful so we can learn from our actions and prevent them in the future.