In 2017, CAMN created a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee to ensure that CAMN is serving our WHOLE community by focusing on diversity and inclusion where we haven’t done so actively before. Currently we are in the planning stages. Our proposed timeline includes (but isn’t limited to):
- Identifying and communicating the issues (we did a presentation… more below)
- Defining a Diversity and Inclusion chairperson role with a vote on our board of directors, as well as an interested committee
- Developing some discussion tools for sharing ideas and reference materials
- Drafting a Diversity and Inclusion statement for our chapter
- Creating a document to outline our chapter’s approach to identifying inclusivity issues, reaching out to people of color or other communities not typically included in leadership or membership of conservation organizations, and finding ways to engage more of our community at many levels
- Codifying this in our Chapter Operating Handbook
- Reviewing the processes and guidelines regularly
- Presenting at the 2018 TMN Annual Meeting in Georgetown, TX.
A few of us got together because we share some beliefs about where our organization can grow and expand. We believe we can’t fulfill the mission of the Texas Master Naturalist Program – the part where it says “…within their communities” – without reaching out to underserved segments of Austin and our surrounding counties, and including everyone in our conservation and outreach efforts. We want our membership, board of directors, new-member training, and public meetings to be welcoming to people of color, the LGTBQ community, and people of any age group (to name a few). Every segment of our membership should do its best to represent the community we live in. We believe the very future of conservation initiatives in Texas and the United States depends on engaging more diverse members as the demographics of the country shift toward Latinos and other non-White populations.
As such, we presented at the Texas Master Naturalist 2017 Annual Meeting on diversity in conservation and serving the whole community. You can find that presentation here: Diversity in Conservation – TXMN Annual Meeting 2017