Diversity and Inclusiveness

“Diversity in the world is a basic characteristic of human society, and also the key condition for a lively and dynamic world as we see today.”

— Jinato Hu

A main part of this internship has involved workshops and discussions about diversity and inclusiveness in the natural resources.  Our first discussion about this was together as a group, back in February during our weeklong “Celebrate Shorebirds” intern training in San Diego.  Natasha Kerr- Program Coordinator and Dr. Sue Bonfield- Executive Director, presented on their National Science Foundation funded research on Latinos and the barriers to their participation in science education along with how to improve outreach to this audience.

Learn more about how EFTA is connecting cultures at:
http://www.birdday.org/connectingcultures

Along with the research presented by Sue and Natasha, we also had roundtable discussions about this topic.  It was really interesting to hear from all my fellow interns about their perspective on diversity and inclusiveness for Latinos in the natural resources.  The trend in the ’80’s for the government agencies was to increase diversity in the workforce by hiring women…and it has now shifted to culturally increasing diversity.  It is really interesting, and not surprising, that this movement has gained a lot of momentum over the past several years with organizations such as LatinoOutdoors and Hispanic Access-who was a 2013 EFTA intern, Lesly, will be going on a weeklong excursion to see six national parks with a group of fellow Latino students!

Continuing with the trend of learning more about diversity in the natural resources, a couple of weeks ago I attended a conference hosted by the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE) on how to better have diversity and inclusiveness in environmental education.  The day’s discussion was centered upon their recent agenda to have a diversity and inclusiveness plan on how environmental organizations can increase diversity in their workplace. The common agenda goals set on this plan are to:

  1. Increase the awareness of the value of diversity and inclusiveness in the environmental education field
  2. increase inclusiveness skills among environmental educators
  3. increase the diversity of environmental educators
  4. increase the diversity of the audiences being served by environmental education

This movement to make our parks and open spaces more culturally and ethnically diverse is one I feel we can all be on board with…our parks should represent how the rest of our country looks: diverse!

Engaging Latino audiences in partnership with the Americas Latino Eco Festival during a bird walk at a local wildlife refuge.

Engaging Latino audiences in partnership with the Americas Latino Eco Festival during a bird walk at a local wildlife refuge.

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