Legado’s Justice, Equity, Diversity,
and Inclusion Statement of Intentions

Updated on May 17

We Believe

For 10 years, Legado has been dedicated to developing, sustaining, and growing authentic, long-term partnerships with indigenous peoples and local communities who have deep relationships with places that are rich in biodiversity. We believe the path to improve the lives of people and preserve the world’s last wild places must account for this interdependency. We also believe it is critical for indigenous peoples and local communities, who live near, depend on, and steward wild places, to lead change.
However, our roots are in conservation, which has not always been on the right side of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Many protected areas have been created by marginalizing and excluding indigenous and local people. And too often, conservation initiatives have been approached as for local people or even offered to them, but not fully developed with them. That history cannot be unlived, but facing these difficult truths allows us to commit to doing our best work every day to turn the tide.

Our Commitment

We work with indigenous and local people to prioritize what their community and environment needs to thrive together now and into the future – an ultimate goal we call Thriving Futures™.

To fulfill this vision, we align our thinking with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and ground ourselves in the tenets of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI). These principles are fundamental to our values and how we aim to work around the world. We commit to:

  • Advocating for a fundamental shift from local communities and indigenous peoples acting as receivers of solutions for their future to owners of and leaders in realizing those solutions.
  • Disclosing fully our own priorities as we meet communities where they are and where they want to be. We listen to communities before project strategies are developed and implemented to understand priorities and generate project ideas anchored in community needs, aspirations, and choice.
  • Developing and piloting an innovative model to work with community members, community-based organizations, and partners to envision Thriving Futures and provide technical assistance to build individual and collective capacity to plan, fund, and implement projects to achieve those futures. 
  • Applying the same principles to ourselves and our partner organizations. We envision a workplace where a diverse team of staff from all backgrounds feels respected, valued, heard, and able to fully reach their personal and professional vision and goals.


(as defined by The Avarna Group):

Justice: Dismantling barriers to resources and opportunities in society so that all individuals and communities can live a full and dignified life. These barriers are essentially the “isms” in society: racism, classism, sexism, etc.

Equity: Allocating resources to ensure everyone has access to the same resources and opportunities. Equity recognizes that advantages and barriers—the ‘isms’—exist. Equity is the approach and equality is the outcome.

Diversity: The differences between us based on which we experience systemic advantages or encounter systemic barriers to opportunities.

Inclusion: Fostering a sense of belonging by centering, valuing, and amplifying the voices, perspectives and styles of those who experience more barriers based on their identities.

Our Actions Going Forward

We are both humble and bold in this endeavor. We are always open to learning and improving, we invite our community – collaborators, thought partners, and other organizations – to join us on this journey so that together we can better advance the principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Below we identify specific actions Legado believes will help make progress towards implementing JEDI guidelines. We hope the commitments in this statement merge our words and actions in ways that build bonds with others, inspire our team to grow and do better, while we scale how and with whom we work to create Thriving Futures.


Implemented and Planned Actions

  • By August 2021, Legado staff have all completed training on JEDI.
  • By September 2021, JEDI content, including guidelines for ensuring Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) in our work, is built into our training curriculum.
  • By September 2021, Legado partners begin setting and measuring JEDI goals in their work.
  • By February 2022,  Legado partners are supporting community members to tell their own stories through media and participatory storytelling.