What is land equity?

Land Equity is the term we use to describe the state of being in which ALL people have access to the benefits of land.

By understanding Land Equity, we acknowledge the interconnections of SOCIAL JUSTICE, SUSTAINABLE CONSERVATION, and ECOLOGICAL RESILIENCE. Through a Land Equity approach, we begin the process of diversifying opportunity, building capacity and acknowledging the richness of many forms of knowledge.

Advancing Land Equity means increasing access, acquisition, and stewardship of land to strengthen the wellbeing of peoples and communities that have been historically deprived from its life-sustaining benefits.

At TerraCorps, we see Land Equity as a process of diversifying opportunity, building capacity and acknowledging the richness of many forms of knowledge. It is an understanding of the interconnections of social justice, sustainable conservation and ecological resilience. As a model, Land Equity calls on us as land stewards to reflect the same values internally in our organizations that we promote externally in our practices and policies. As an approach, Land Equity redefines access to include boardrooms as well as outdoor spaces. It is an ethic that holds us all accountable to do more for each other and our environment. It is an ongoing process of learning, growing and reconnecting.

Why is Land Equity important?

Land is foundational to human health and well-being, but the social and environmental benefits of land are not accessible to all communities.

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and other underserved communities remain disproportionately deprived of access to land even as fresh, healthy food, clean water, parks, and open space are broadly recognized as important social determinants of health.

TerraCorps acknowledges that the foundation of the American conservation movement—land ownership—is rooted in a racist system of policies and laws that displaced and segregated whole communities from the land they needed to sustain themselves and thrive. Together with our Service Site partners and our AmeriCorps Members, we are building a more equitable ecosystem of people and organization to protect and steward land for broader good.

How we advance land equity

Develop Leadership Through Service

Through our 11-month leadership program, we cultivate and grow a committed group of professionals who devote their energy, willingness and knowledge to local nonprofits.

Provide Land Equity Education

We provide training to our Members who in turn embody these principles in their work and careers. 

Support Capacity Building Partnerships

We strengthen organizational capacity through partnerships, resource-sharing and knowledge exchange across our diverse network.

Model Organizational Equity

We strive to reflect our commitment to social and racial equity in our internal organizational growth while recognizing this as a long process in which we are continually learning and improving.