PAEE stands in solidarity with the Black community during the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests following the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others. Environmental Education has the powerful ability to equip people with the tools they need to create positive change. In order for us to fully leverage that power, we must work to dismantle racist sentiments, behaviors, and systems that undermine access to, and engagement with, outdoor spaces and outdoor learning associated with those spaces for people of color. While we acknowledge that other marginalized and minoritized groups have also experienced the impacts of systemic oppression, in this moment, we are focusing on people of color and systemic racism. Therefore, as we strive to practice antiracism in our work, we pledge to create space for the voices of people of color who are working to build more just, equitable, and resilient communities through Environmental Education. We acknowledge that Environmental Education is not immune to the systemic racism inherent in our institutions, and we acknowledge that as a predominantly white-led organization, we hold individual and collective responsibility for our role within the system.
Moving forward, PAEE will prioritizing the following action steps in response:
- Form a permanent working committee to assess and address intersectional issues of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion
- Allocate budget funding for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in conferences and other programs for professional trainings facilitated by BIPOC
- Assess programs (e.g., conference, scholarships, awards, nonformal EE certification) to make sure they are achieving goals related to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion
- Support our board and our members through professional development in examining white supremacy and privilege that manifests in outdoor spaces and public lands
We invite our members to step up and join us as allies to join in this critical work by:
- Share stories or resources related to how your organization is responding with us via social media or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
- Attend upcoming conferences, webinars, workshops, and trainings related to DEI
- Share any upcoming related professional development opportunities offered by different organizations with us via social media or by contacting email@example.com
- Hold us (and each other) accountable. You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Identify where you are personally in your own learning, and take steps to advance in this area. We are working on a resource list to be shared on our website to assist you in these efforts.
- Serve on PAEE’s newly formed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. Contact email@example.com to be added.