Dear MEEA Family,
At MEEA, we strongly believe that engaging with people from every walk of life and every background is essential in developing the next generation of environmental stewards. We believe that the outdoors should be for everyone and recognize the lack of equal access and representation in our community of environmental educators. We stand against the systemic and outright racism that affects youth and families every day and we commit to using our platform to generate change, to increase representation and education, and to contribute to a more diverse outdoor community.
We understand that, as a board, we are not currently able to completely understand all of the facets of this complicated and difficult issue but we are committed to putting in the work. We need to be better and need to remain committed to continual learning, advocacy, and engagement at every level. We can’t promise we’re going to get it right every step of the way, but we can promise that we will continue to show up, learn, and try again.
As supporters of outdoor learning, we should be informed of the realities people of color have experienced in places that many of us find solitude. Read this article from the National Audubon Society to START your journey of learning with us.
Together with you,
MEEA Board President
This list is by no means exhaustive and will continue to be updated. Do you have a favorite resource that you think we should include? Send us an email to email@example.com.
Diversity & Edutopia – Here you can find a long list of helpful articles and content from Edutopia about the power and importance of diversity in the classroom.
Diversity Outdoors – a coalition of social media influencers who share the goal of promoting diversity in outdoor spaces where BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other diverse identities have historically been marginalized and silenced.
Five Ways to Make the Outdoors More Inclusive – An action plan for change from a panel of experts, The Atlantic and REI.
‘Black Birders Week’ Promotes Diversity and Takes on Racism in the Outdoors – article by Jilian Mock for Audon.
At a time when it is most relevant for us to look at our biases and privilege when we educate in the outdoors, we’re excited to announce that our annual conference “Montana’s Many Voices: Exploring Equity and Inclusion in Environmental Education” will be held at Chico Hot Springs on April 1st – 3rd, 2021. Registration will open in the Winter of 2020. We can’t wait to learn together with you. Details can be found on the dedicated conference page.