Together for Nature is a 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on improving the reciprocal relationship between people and the environment while advancing the equitable impacts of sustainability.
Mission and History.
Mission: Together for Nature's mission is to equitably empower NE Illinois communities to improve our social and environmental conditions through education, leadership, and advocacy
We work to engage the next generations and environmental justice and underserved communities in participating and leading in sustainability change.
History: Together for Nature was formed by a group of passionate volunteers that began collaborating because we realized we shared a similar goal of diversifying the impact of local sustainability efforts. We were all committed to increasing the participation and leadership of youth and environmental justice and underserved communities in the sustainability efforts of northeastern IL.
Diversity and Inclusion: We value the voices, experiences, and multi-dimensionality of all people, and we value creating opportunities for everyone to feel included and powerful.
Creativity and Expression: We value how communicating our inner world builds community and understanding and contributes to healing and well-being.
Connection and Transformation: We value how relationships are improved when people of different backgrounds connect with each other and nature. We also value the ability of individuals and systems to grow for the betterment of the community and the environment.
Community and Solidarity: We value how social movements gain power when people from different backgrounds work together for a greater vision.
Empowerment and Education: We value how resources can contextualize individuals’ experiences and prepare them to achieve their goals and advance social conditions.
Equity and Social Justice: We value challenging the historical oppression underserved people have lived. We value working for a present and future where all people have access to opportunities that promote their well-being, advancement, and success.
Sustainability and Environmental Justice: We recognize our natural connections to each other, other organisms, and the earth as we live in a global ecosystem, and we value working for a society that aims to reduce its impact and conserve the environment for current and future generations.
Commitment to Indigenous People.
Together for Nature honors and respects that we live and work in the traditional homelands of the Anishinaabe, Ho-Chunk, Kaskaskia, Kickapoo, Lakota, Mascouten, Menominee, Meskwaki, Myaamia, Peoria, and Sac and Fox people in what is known as northeastern Illinois. We honor how the local environments developed alongside their communities, cultures, and food systems.
We value how Indigenous social-ecological relationships are essential for improving social and environmental conditions, and we are committed to collaborating with Indigenous people to support their priorities for their communities and traditional homelands.
We also recognize how Indigenous perspectives continue to be appropriated by Western fields, so we will work to teach people how our efforts are influenced and guided by the confluence of Indigenous and Western science and practices.
Together for Nature also values how northeastern Illinois is the home of immigrants from throughout the world, many of which are Indigenous. We have a high population of Indigenous people from southern Turtle Island/Abya Yala (Americas). Our organization will also work to respect and honor their relationships and knowledge for taking care of our communities, relatives, and our environments.