Coming Clean Guiding Principles

Coming Clean is a collaborative of individuals and organizations united in our desire for, and efforts toward comprehensive reform of the chemical industry, so that it is no longer a source of harm. We believe that the ways in which we behave toward one another are just as important as the goals we aim to achieve. The following principles help guide our work:

Transparency. Dialogue and decisions at all levels in the collaborative should be conducted in an open, transparent manner. We will strive to be clear about expectations, roles and responsibilities of Coming Clean Co-Coordinators, Workgroup leaders and participants, and those with whom Coming Clean contracts for specific tasks.

Collaboration. We will act in a spirit of open collaboration with all who share the vision of a toxic-free future. We understand that competition for media attention, funding, power and recognition/rewards can tear us apart, but that collaboration will bring us together, and make our movement stronger.

Justice. We will promote justice within and outside of Coming Clean by deepening our understanding of, and actively working to dismantle those oppressions, to heal ourselves and strengthen our movement. We understand that our work exists in a social context that is fraught with racism, sexism, heterosexism, classism, and many other oppressions. We know that the results of these oppressions include disproportionate impacts from pollution on people of color and low-income communities, as well as lack of shared power, less access to information and resources, and divisiveness within the environmental health and justice movement.

Capacity building. We all have something to share, and we all have something to learn. Coming Clean participants are encouraged to articulate ways in which they need to develop skills and expertise, and to help each other build capacity for success in all aspects of our work, being mindful that there are many types of “experts.”

Respect. We will strive to respect each other as partners in the social, environmental justice and health movements, even when we disagree. Respect keeps open the door to consensus and unity.

Inclusivity. We will monitor our language, communication styles, use of technology, knowledge of cultural differences, our geographic scope etc so that our discussions, campaigns and projects are accessible to the wide range of Coming Clean participants.

Openness. Information and access to a wide range of power-holders (from elected officials to funders, and including those within the social and environmental health and justice movements) are keys to success. We will strive to share information, ideas and channels to power-holders in an open manner, using our respective social and political privileges for the benefit of the collaborative and the movement as a whole.

Accountability. We will hold each other accountable for divisive behavior and actions that exclude people, and challenge each other to adhere to these guidelines in all Coming Clean endeavors.


Read more: Coming Clean Collaborative.