For fifty years, the Harris Center has worked to connect people of all ages and backgrounds to the natural world. In that time, it’s become clear that just as biodiversity leads to healthy, robust ecosystems, so too does human diversity lead to healthy, robust communities.
Systemic racism, sexism, classism, and ableism rob all of us of the opportunity to learn from and alongside each other, and to work together toward a brighter and more inclusive future.
At the Harris Center, we are committed to ensuring that our trails, conserved lands, educational programs, and conservation research projects are welcoming spaces for all, regardless of racial or religious background, gender identity, sexual orientation, economic means, or range of physical ability.
Toward that end, we pledge to:
- provide diversity, equity, and inclusion training for our staff and trustees
- highlight the knowledge, research, and importance of naturalists, scientists, and educators of diverse backgrounds in our school, afterschool, and community education programs
- amplify the voices of naturalists, scientists, and outdoors people of diverse backgrounds via our communications, including social media
- ensure that our teaching library includes books by diverse authors and illustrators, as well as books that center the experiences of people of diverse backgrounds
- acknowledge the ancestral Abenaki lands where our work occurs
- explore partnerships with outdoor recreation and nature organizations led by — and centered on the experiences of — people of diverse backgrounds
- improve access to Harris Center trails, lands, and programs for people with disabilities
- examine our outreach and employment practices with the goal of building diversity throughout our organization — including volunteers, interns, staff, and trustees
- hold regular meetings of our newly-established Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Working Group, comprised of staff, trustees, and community members, in order to move these and other initiatives forward
This is just a start. We are listening and learning. We invite you to join us.
— the Staff and Trustees of the Harris Center for Conservation Education