Equity and Inclusion
Black Lives Matter
Everyone in Colorado deserves the opportunity to experience quality environmental and outdoor learning. Black individuals and communities have a right to live, work, learn and play in the outdoors without racism. The tragic deaths of George Floyd and Black Americans profoundly impact our learners, audiences, and colleagues. We have a responsibility to continue working to change the systems that continue to allow injustice and inequity to exist. At the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education, we believe that we are much stronger together than we are individually, and we are committed to learning and working with you to continue working towards a just, equitable world where everyone has the opportunity to learn about the environment where they live.
Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education Equity and Inclusion Statement
Why we do this work:
At CAEE, we recognize that both historically and today, environmental education organizations like CAEE have been a part of perpetuating harm to marginalized communities:
- The contributions of Black, Indigenous, racially and ethnically diverse, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer or questioning, those with disabilities, low-income, inner-city, and rural communities have been and are still often excluded from our narratives because environmental education has been centered around white, cis-gendered, middle and upper class communities.
- The benefits of environmental and outdoor learning are not yet truly accessible to all, especially those in Black, Indigenous, racially and ethnically diverse, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer or questioning, those with disabilities, low-income, inner-city, and rural communities.
- The impacts and threats to our environment and climate are felt disproportionately by people of color and those living in lower socio-economic classes.
How we do this work:
The Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education commits to becoming a more equitable and just organization. We work to ensure that everyone in Colorado, regardless of race or ethnicity, background, or economic status, has the opportunity to experience environmental and outdoor learning in ways that are relevant to them. Recognizing that education is a critical tool for social transformation and social justice is essential in advancing environmental education, CAEE, commits to:
- Center the ideals of equity, anti-racism, justice, and sustainability in internal operations and external programs;
- Respect the humanity of all people and ensure that a diversity of voices are heard, welcomed and included in decision-making especially voices from Black, Indigenous, racially and ethnically diverse, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer or questioning, those with disabilities, low-income, inner-city, and rural communities; and
- Promote equitable access to environmental education.
To learn more about the work that CAEE is currently engaged in, download the CAEE Board of Director's Equity and Inclusion Action Plan.
CAEE defines diversity in its broadest sense and welcomes everyone to the field of environmental education and the Alliance, including but not limited to people of all races, ethnicities, genders, gender expressions, sexual orientations, abilities, ages, national origins, socioeconomic status, religious affiliations, languages, and heritages.
Actions we are taking as an organization:
Through CAEE programs and Initiatives we strive to:
- Strengthen the value of equity, inclusion, and justice in the environmental education field.
- Build equity, inclusion, and anti-racist skills among environmental educators.
- Honor all approaches to environmental and outdoor learning.
- Decrease barriers and increase access to environmental and outdoor learning.
CAEE Board and Staff are working to:
- Recruit and retain diverse leaders on our board, staff, and committees.
- Ensure programs are designed and delivered equitably and inclusively.
- Adopt policies, procedures, and operations that reflect our Board and organizational commitment to justice, equity, and inclusion.
- Share our journey to becoming a more equitable and inclusive organization openly and transparently.
To learn more about the work that CAEE is currently engaged in, download CAEE’s Equity and Inclusion Action Plan.
Find additional resources to support equity and inclusion work in environmental education:
Why is Equity and Inclusion Important
Equity and Inclusion in Practice