About Us

Equity (ěk’wĭ-tē) n. 1. The state, quality, or ideal of being just, impartial, and fair.

The Wild Equity Institute is a San Francisco-based non-profit organization that builds a more sustainable and just world, both for people and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth. Our work protects local endangered species and defends underserved communities through innovative education programs, science-based administrative petitions, and vigorous enforcement of environmental laws.

Wild Equity Institute Executive Director Brent Plater describes why he founded the organization and what he hopes to accomplish with the group.

Wild Equity was founded in 2009 after several years of community organizing to link the grassroots conservation movement and the environmental justice movement through the movements’ shared moral foundation: equity, the desire for a more just and fair world.

The environmental justice movement’s focus on the inequitable distribution of environmental hazards—and increasingly, its focus on the inequitable access provided to environmental goods like open space and parks—is clearly an example of a movement working towards a more equitable society. Similarly, the grassroots conservation movement works to remedy an inequitable relationship: between our human communities and the non-human world. As we consume a greater share of the world’s finite resources, less remains for the plants and animals around us, driving thousands of species to the brink of extinction. While the moral consideration we owe to each other may be different in kind and scope to what we owe to other forms of life, in both cases the gap between what our moral foundation suggests we should do and how we actually act leaves us with a culturally isolated and biologically impoverished world.

The Wild Equity Institute’s purpose is to unite these two occasionally disparate environmental movements into a powerful force that creates a healthy and sustainable global community for all. We accomplish this by working on projects that highlight and redress the inequitable relationships across our human communities while improving our relationship to the lands in which we live.

Watch Bay Area foundation officers explain why they love our work.

The Wild Equity Institute is a California non-profit corporation and is registered as a 501(c)(3) public charity with the Internal Revenue Service.

We are supported by the Rose Foundation for Communities & the Environment, the Fund for Wild Nature, the California Wildlands Grassroots Fund, the Firedoll Foundation, the Jeff & Connie Woodman Foundation, the Foundation for Youth Investment, the JiJi Foundation, TogetherGreen (a collaboration between National Audubon Society and Toyota), the Society for Community Work, the Foundation for Ecology & Culture, REI’s San Francisco store, the Sports Basement, the NITA Foundation, Patagonia San Francisco, and hundreds of community members just like you. Join us: become a member of the Wild Equity Institute today.