Shifting Towards Equity Virtual Summit

Shifting Towards Equity:  Community Visioning for EE during and after COVID-19

Creating an community centered vision for environmental education takes all of us!

Over 130 people from multiple states attended a virtual summit to discuss, share, and vision a world where everyone has environmental and outdoor learning experiences, every day, every way!  Thank you to everyone who provided their voice, ideas, concerns, and hopes for shifting towards equitable, just environmental and outdoor learning. 

Overview of the Summit:

On July 8, 2020, over 130 environmental and outdoor educators from New Mexico, Colorado, and Maine along with partners from across the country participated in a virtual summit, “Shifting Towards Equity: Community Visioning for EE during and after COVID-19”. This interactive virtual summit explored the shifts occurring in environmental and outdoor learning at home, at school, and in our communities as a result of COVID-19. Keynote speaker Parker Mcmullen Bushman shared invaluable words of wisdom on acknowledging and addressing the needs of many diverse individuals and communities while calling for the ongoing need for conversations and actions across all levels and scales of outdoor and environmental education. Participants then broke into small group facilitated dialogues exploring the shifts that still are needed to ensure that EVERYONE has opportunities for environmental and outdoor learning every day, while reflecting on the shifts that have already occurred as a result of COVID-19. Group dialogues included sharing, discussing, and exploring these shifts and the strategies needed to navigate the changing educational landscape while holding equity at the center in three areas: “At Home”, “In Community” and “At School”.

 Watch the Small Group Discussion Report Outs

On July 22nd, we shared a deeper look into the themes that have emerged and highlighted actionable items for the 2020-2021 school year as well as recommendations for organizations and the field of EE to shift towards centering equity at all levels. We also introduced a new tool for systemic change developed in 2019 called "Every Kid, Every Day, Every Way". We began our time together by viewing the Getting Grounded video developed by the Exploring Equitable Education Outdoors Fellows as part of the "Wisdom to Live by During a Global Pandemic" mini-video series released this spring.

Thank you to our design team of Eileen Everett, Katie Navin, Olivia Griset, Meghan Young, Everette Hill and Vicki Pozzebon! And many thanks to our incredible facilitators: Katie Macaulay, Fiana Shapiro, Kelly White, Kimberly Caputo, Jordan Stone, Olivia Marin, Laura Flores, Shantini Ramakrishnan, Allison Martin, Chris Sylvan, Lisa Eadens, Deborah Fard, Lesley Petrie, Julianne Gagnon,  Paige Nygaard, Johan Sifa, Amara Ifeji, Melissa Tian, and Ania Wright. Lastly, thank you to NAAEE for supporting this effort through ee360 funding!!!

Next Steps

Our three states (NM, CO, and ME) are meeting to sort through next steps, including the development of a brief from what was reported out. We will have a Colorado specific community event to be announced soon.