What is Land Justice, and how can we form meaningful partnerships with historically excluded people to build more resilient regions and communities? How can Regional Conservation Partnerships (RCPs) support, amplify, and replicate the successes of neighborhoods, grassroots groups, communities, networks, and organizations already driving Land Justice work in the Northeast? How can we work toward more equitable, sustainable, and just land-use patterns? How do we balance our conservation missions with the imperative of advancing land justice and equity—NOW?

Northampton, Massachusetts
Photo Credit: Jamie Malcolm-Brown

In the 2021 RCP Network Gathering, we heard real-world examples and shared ideas of how Land Justice and collaborative conservation could be locally driven, replicated, and scaled up to create stronger, more equitable, and resilient communities and regions.

The Gathering featured a keynote speaker, breakout sessions to connect with peers, and two moderated panel sessions with discussions following.

Gathering resources

Parker McMullen Bushman

Parker McMullen Bushman kicked off the day’s events with a focus on the effects of past institutions that have left racial and ethnic groups in disadvantaged social positions and have oftentimes sustained that disadvantage unknowingly. “We can see a legacy of racism in the environmental disparities that currently plague our nation,” says Parker, “History tells a clear story about where we’ve landed today.”

As founder and Chief Operating Officer of Ecoinclusive Strategies, Parker works to engage organizations in new thinking around what it means to be a diversity change agent and create dynamic organizational change. Her background in the non-profit leadership, conservation, environmental education, and outdoor recreation fields spans 25 years.

Two Panels Highlighted Challenges and Real-World Experiences Incorporating Land Justice in Conservation Work

Morning Panel and Breakout Group Discussion: What Does Land Justice Mean, and How Does it Affect my Communities?   

  • Goal: Elicit thoughtful consideration among audience members of the meaning of Land Justice and the barriers they have experienced in addressing it within their RCPs and organizations and agencies.

Afternoon Panel and Breakout Group Discussion: Guiding Principles for Scaling Up Community-Driven Land Justice and Conservation Outcomes

  • Goal: Provide audience members with practical approaches to advancing and scaling up hyper-local, community-driven land justice and conservation efforts.