Sierra Club Values
Anti-Racism: We commit to shifting power away from white supremacy, repairing harm, and ending structural racism.
Racism is the single most critical barrier to building effective coalitions for social change. Racism has been consciously and systematically erected, and it can be undone only if people understand what it is, where it comes from, how it functions, and why it is perpetuated.
Practicing anti-racism at Sierra Club includes:
- Sustained Action: Anti-racism is focused and sustained action—which includes dialogue and engagement with intercultural, interfaith, multilingual, and inter-labeled communities—with the intent to change systems, institutional policies, practices, or procedures that have racist effects.
- Maintaining Accountability: To practice anti-racism we must constantly and consistently be accountable to the communities struggling with racist oppression.
- Committing Ourselves: Recognizing, naming, and rejecting the norms of internalized racial oppression in ourselves, our work, our organization, and our communities. Individual acts of racism are supported by institutions and are nurtured by the societal practices that reinforce and perpetuate racism.
Balance: Our effectiveness comes from committing to caring for ourselves and others.
Our success depends upon our creativity, imagination, commitment, and sense of the possible. These require rest, rejuvenation, and work-life balance.
As a species on this planet, we strive for balance with nature. As an organization, we strive for balance between chapters and the national organization, and between volunteers and staff.
Practicing balance at Sierra Club includes:
- Striving & Achieving: While we work on things big and small, we need to also make sure how we do so respects work-life balance. We commit to care for ourselves and each other, for a healthy and thriving people, organization, and planet.
- Effectiveness: We work collectively toward our shared mission and vision. We are changemakers. As a result of our work, we are helping to realize a just, equitable, and sustainable future where every person benefits from, and contributes to, a healthy thriving planet.
- Building a Movement: We make an impact through our talents and commitment to the cause. We build power to win. We use a power and movement-building approach and strategy. We hold ourselves accountable for evaluating effectiveness, and we strive to continuously improve, adapt, and innovate.
Collaboration: We believe in just relationships that support collective work.
We are powerful together and value collaboration over individual success. We believe that real collaboration requires a commitment to authentic engagements and just relationships where we develop and maintain deep partnerships over time—built on a foundation of trust, justice and respect. We work to match intent and impact in interactions, proactively resolve conflicts and misunderstandings (especially across differences), and regularly give and receive feedback in productive and thoughtful ways.
We work together in solidarity and mutuality. We work with colleagues and partners to establish and follow-through on shared commitments and consult and share resources, relationships, and opportunities.
Practicing collaboration at Sierra Club includes:
- Making Decisions Democratically: The loudest or most powerful person doesn’t get to decide things on their own. We share power, listen, and decide inclusively.
- Slowing Down: It can often seem like everything is urgent, but slowing down can lead to more collaborative, stronger decisions.
- Just Relationships: Developing and maintaining these relationships over time, 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.
Justice: We are accountable for our actions, our work, and how we show up with trust and respect.
A commitment to justice means doing what is just, even when it isn’t easy. A just world is one where all people are treated with dignity and respect, have their basic human needs met, and have the freedom and self-determination to make choices for themselves without fear of persecution, discrimination, or violence. Our commitment to justice means that we are creating goals for ourselves that are based on collective thinking and collaboration with those who share our values. We are working together actively every day to make that just world a reality, by examining the impacts and outcomes of our work through a justice lens.
Practicing justice at Sierra Club includes:
- Treating People with Compassion: We respect each other as people on this planet, and we advocate for each other’s rights and dignity.
- Personal Accountability: We recognize that our actions and how we show up in our work and communities have consequences, and that we must take responsibility for the impact of our actions on others, rather than their intent.
- Ownership: Ownership begins with accepting responsibility for ourselves, and our work, from inception to outcome. We commit ourselves to owning the outcome of our work, and making sure that we meet our goals, and do what we say we will do.
- Clarity: We strive to make sure that all who work with us have a clear understanding of what we are trying to achieve, and what is expected. We agree on those expectations in a collaborative manner, respecting differences and working to amplify our individual talents and strengths.
- Active Engagement: We normalize engagement with those who will be impacted by our decisions before we make them. We also commit to being clear about who is making what decisions, and then owning the decision.
Transformation: We commit to changing our relationships to power, privilege, and oppression—for ourselves and for the organization.
Transformation is an ongoing process to strengthen understanding of our relationships as people and as an organization to power, privilege, and oppression—all in order to work toward equity and justice in ourselves, our actions, and our interactions.
Practicing transformation at Sierra Club includes:
- Self-awareness: We work continually to understand ourselves and how we are shaped by systems of power, privilege, and oppression; how we participate in these systems; how we may be both harmed by and benefit from inequity; and how we may contribute to inequity.
- Questioning the Status Quo: Many systems in which we operate were built on harmful and outdated foundations that require us to question, challenge, and change. We are open to new ways of thinking and operating.
- Allyship: We recognize when inequity is present, take immediate action to interrupt business-as-usual, and work for long-term solutions. We act in support of marginalized people, in accordance with their goals, and work to advance equity in our spheres of influence.