AORE Association News September 2016 - Page 14

By Abby Rowe and Katie Hecker

DEI Committee Co-Chairs

AORE has made big strides and big commitments to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) work this summer, starting with the decision to promote the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. This is not just a name change, but rather an acknowledgement that DEI work is an on-going priority for AORE. The Board also developed a strategic plan to indicate its commitment to DEI work. This plan includes prioritizing DEI principles through marketing, outreach, scholarships, programming, partnerships, benchmarking, and assessment. The DEI committee is working towards many of these desired outcomes. I want to highlight a few initiatives that are currently underway.

Diversity and Inclusion Survey: Liz Rogers has been spearheading this project. The study “aims to discover what diversity and inclusion practices currently exist in our outdoor programs, how members believe the outdoor field should move forward, and what AORE can do to meet the needs of its membership in this context.” This is very important work, and we are very thankful for Liz’s efforts. If you have not yet completed the survey, please do so. It will take a maximum of 15 minutes to complete and can be found here.

DEI-Related Presenter Training: The DEI Committee is facilitating part of the presenter training series designed by the PRC. Our goal is to help all presenters feel prepared to give an inclusive presentation to a diverse audience and to refine DEI components of applicable presentations. Presenters will view The AVARNA Group’s Webinar "How to Eat an Elephant: Getting Started with DEI Work” and then review a DEI tips and tricks document followed by an opportunity for Q&A in a message board forum. If you are presenting, please look for the email that was sent to you with more information on this training.

Outreach: Members of the DEI committee have been contacting AORE members proximal to Minneapolis to advertize the Bridge Builder Scholarship (more on this below) and to identify programs in the midwest that serve historically underrepresented participants in the outdoors. Our goal is to then reach out to these organizations that are “new” to AORE and encourage affiliates to attend the AORE conference in Minneapolis in November. Every little bit of outreach counts!

Bridge Builder Scholarship: AORE is offering the Bridge Builder Scholarship for the second year. Previously coordinated by the SDC, the scholarship is now coordinated by the DEI Committee. The Bridge Builder Scholarship is awarded to student leaders involved in an initiative to increase inclusion, diversity, and/or multiculturalism within their outdoor community. We have two scholarships to offer this year and each will fund conference attendance as well as an annual membership for a student member. Applications are due September 15th.

We always welcome feedback from the membership on these initiatives or other suggestions towards creating a more diverse and inclusive AORE. If you have questions, concerns or are just passionate about DEI work, please reach out to us!


DEI Committee Update

Get Involved!

DEI Committee Chairs

Abby Rowe:

Katie Hecker: