Sierra Business Council's Statement on Racial justice

Jill Sanford

Jill Sanford

Communications Manager

Dear Community, 

With the worst global health crisis since the Spanish Influenza, the largest national recession since the Great Depression, and now, the strongest engagement in racial justice since the Civil Rights era, these are historic times. 

SBC’s work frequently raises the alarm for crises facing the Sierra Nevada. The ongoing movement for racial justice has reminded us that we cannot tackle the challenges of our region relating to climate justice, small businesses, or environmental health, without also addressing the inequalities that people of color face both within our communities and beyond. 

Equity is inherent to sustainability, resilience, and our triple bottom line mission. Today, we are recommitting to that foundational value, one that will determine how we as an organization show up for our partners in progress in the weeks, months, and years to come. We are reflecting on how we can improve our efforts to bridge the divides that exist in our society, how we can identify our blind spots so that they don’t cause our efforts to fall short, and how we can better serve. 

We also have hope.

We encourage our community to follow and support the work of the NAACP, Black Lives Matter, Campaign Zero, Southern Poverty Law Center, Loveland Foundation, California Black Chamber of CommerceSunrise Movement, Outdoor Afro, California Rural Legal Assistance, and the many other organizations driving meaningful social progress to create a more equitable nation. We urge our network to support businesses and organizations led by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). We value the experiences of BIPOC who live, work, vacation, and recreate in the Sierra. We support transparency in police departments, writing specific and precise legislation about the use of force, and increasing funding for the communities that have been harmed by over-policing. We are also hopeful that this movement will lead to systemic reforms of our social and economic systems that have failed to incorporate equity as a core value.

Thank you to every member of our network engaging at this moment, working to achieve better understanding, sharing resources, and taking action towards a more equitable region, state, and country. We are with you.  

With solidarity and hope, 

Sierra Business Council

Further Resources

Read More Recent Blogs

COVID Economic Recovery in the Sierra is Fast… and Slow 

Visitor Spending in the Sierra is making a comeback after 2020’s dismal drop in tourism, but the tourism industry may have to make some fundamental changes in order to build a sustainable recreation-based economy in a post-pandemic world.

June 2022 Budget Update

…Of particular interest to SBC and our region is, of course, funding for wildfire and climate resilience programs.

2022 May Revise

California’s already lofty state budget surplus reached a new high of $97.5 billion, and the budget itself grew to a record $300 billion in spending as Governor Newsom released his administration’s revisions to its 2022-23 budget proposal on May 13. What impacts will these big numbers have on the Sierra Nevada? Will there be more funding and opportunity for state investment be coming our way? 

More by this author

Fire Reduction, Response, and Restoration Careers

Skilled workers are the linchpin to addressing the economic and climate crises in California’s forested, rural communities. Building the forestry and fire-safety sectors could contribute approximately $39 billion in forestry-products and fire-resiliency industries and add 177,000 jobs to the California workforce.

Communicating Climate Risk in Rural Regions

This conversation explored catalysts that drive climate adaptation successes in rural California, including legislative incentives, the economic and cost-saving benefits of proactive climate action, and the urgency of unprecedented climate crises such as wildfires.