Equity and Inclusion

Equity is the fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. Improving equity involves increasing justice and fairness within the procedures and processes of institutions or systems, as well as in their distribution of resources. Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes of outcome disparities within our society. Inclusion is the act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people. Increasingly, recognition of unconscious or ‘implicit bias’ helps organizations to be deliberate about addressing issues of inclusivity.

Guidelines:
  • Fairness and accuracy
  • Depth

Get this for your bookshelf, read it, and share it. It is a good read full of examples and lays out the history of the conservation movement and field of environmental education. These accounts support the point that many people engage in environmental education--though one could miss their engagement if it doesn’t fit in a definition or dominant culture of the field. Within the first few pages Finney tackles representation and goes on from there. I appreciate having a book devoted to the topic rather than reading multiple articles.

woman smiling outdoors
Resource

Carolyn Finney describes the history of the environmental movement and the part race, representation, and rhetoric play. Media and policies tend to make outdoor activity and spaces seem like white people are the only ones recreating. She shares example after example of African Americans’ historical and current connection to the outdoors.

Resource Category:

Publication, Book
Guidelines:
  • Fairness and accuracy
  • Emphasis on skills building
  • Action orientation

Opportunities and requirements for allyship abound since people and their differences show up all the time. I particularly like the example featuring stepping on someone’s toe and what that can teach about the practice of allyship.

view of tall trees from ground
Resource

Anytime someone is not part of an identity group--especially when that identity group is mistreated--they have the opportunity to ally with one or many people who hold that identity. This is an open-source guide to allyship with definitions and examples.

Resource Category:

Website
Guidelines:
  • Fairness and accuracy
  • Instructional soundness
  • Usability

This pick is two types of resources in one: to-do and to-learn. I recommend using this assessment individually or as a staff team as a step to practicing inclusion. What’s helpful is that the suggestions apply to any age, any context, which make it particularly relevant to the interdisciplinary and lifelong nature of EE.

stepped path through forest
Resource

This short resource gives prompts to consider in planning for and reflecting on your teaching and learning sessions. See examples of how bias influences our work, and use the prompts as suggestions to ensure you reach learners in more inclusive ways.

Resource Category:

Publication, Article/Report