Mission, Vision, Values

River Rally 2019 attendees. Photo by Benjamin Colon.

Our Mission & Vision

River Network grows and strengthens a transformational national network of water, justice, and river advocates. We envision a powerful and inclusive movement that ensures abundant clean water for all people and nature to thrive. We believe that joy and hope for our planet flows through our rivers.

Our Core Values

Strength. We unite and empower a broad range of people, organizations, businesses, and government—to reach common goals and build strength for clean water and healthy rivers. As a network, we recognize strength in connectivity and seek alignment for collective action.

Respect. We solicit, listen to, and respect the contributions of all people with whom we work, and we communicate with others honestly, respectfully, openly, and directly. We approach our work and partnerships with a sense of joy and appreciation.

Integrity. We commit to high ethical and professional integrity in our work, holding ourselves accountable to each other and to the public. Doing so gives us clarity of approach and pride.

Balance. We value human and ecological needs and advocate conservation goals within the context of human health, economic and other community needs, and their connection to healthy rivers and clean water.

Growth. We commit to remaining curious and seek opportunities to grow our knowledge. As a learning organization, we continually reflect on what we have learned, and we revise our approaches accordingly.

Inclusion. We welcome, involve, and value all perspectives, voices, styles, and identities, with special attention to racial power dynamics. We foster inclusion by building internal structures and processes that promote a sense of belonging. We encourage inclusion throughout our network by validating the inherent worth and dignity of all people with an expectation of mutual respect.


Our Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

All people have a right to clean and ample water that sustains life. To achieve this right for all communities, it is imperative for the river and watershed community to build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive movement. River Network is committed to being a catalyst and partner in this transformation.

Biases and disparities disproportionately burden communities of color, indigenous communities, and low-income communities with legacies of environmental damage and on-going harm that limit their access to healthy, life-sustaining waters. All voices must be included in River Network’s work to achieve more equitable solutions. Just as biodiversity strengthens natural systems, water protection work is made stronger by the contributions, experiences, perspectives, and values of different people and communities.

River Network is committed to building on its history in working with others by embracing diversity, equity and inclusion in all areas to achieve our mission. Through our programs we seek to connect with all communities and increase the impact of their efforts to secure clean and ample water. River Network will be intentional about our staffing and engagement practices and strive to increase the diversity of our staff, vendors, board, members, and supporters with strategic recruitment and partnerships and an inclusive work place culture.

River Network invites dialogue with partners working on these issues to seek guidance and develop collaborations. By expanding our reach, River Network intends to go beyond traditional cultural and social boundaries to become more effective in building an equitable and inclusive river and watershed movement. We invite all communities to join us in this journey of transformation.

Read River Network’s Case Statement: Why Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion are the Foundation of our Mission.

Learn more about our Principles for Equitable and Inclusive Work.

Explore our history and equity, diversity, and inclusion journey.