Land Justice

The Climate Land Leaders Initiative acknowledges that land tenure in the United States is overwhelmingly White and privileged. We believe that prioritizing equity is key to dismantling the inequalities that limit access to land. In 2024, the Climate Land Leaders Board of Directors approved a Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion statement that includes the following:

JUSTICE responds with action. As abolitionist Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand.”

EQUITY responds to mutual knowledge, respect and invitation.

DIVERSITY ensures that a variety of individuals, groups and communities with different characteristics flourish together.

INCLUSION asks us to consider who is the Other, who is not in the room and of those present, who has not been heard.


Read the full statement here.

“Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is about having grace and humility. We need to figure out a way to come together and build relationships.”

—Dr. Michelle Montgomery, Climate Land Leaders Board Member

To implement the JEDI statement, the Climate Land Leaders Initiative will, among other steps:

  • Help our cohort understand how White landowners continue to benefit from the racist foundation and institutions of our country.
  • Explore the legacy we collectively and individually want to create to address inequities and support the next generation of farmers and land stewards.
  • Prioritize inclusion of Team and Board members who are Black, Indigenous or People of Color.
  • Pay robust stipends to speakers who are Black, Indigenous or People of Color.

“Traditional knowledge holders have lived close to the rhythms of the land for thousands of years and have a store of information about weather, soils, water, plants and animals that have sustained their communities without the massive chemical inputs used in current farming practices. If we want to repair our damaged land and ensure our future as the climate grows more challenging, we need to learn ways to support food growth from voices which have much to teach us.”

—Sally McCoy (IA and WI)