WACD Board adopts DEI committee recommendations
November 15, 2021 — The Washington Association of Conservation Districts (WACD) Board of Directors announces it has approved the recommendations proposed by the Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (CDEI).
WACD uses the definitions of diversity, equity, and inclusion from those adopted by the National Association of Conservation Districts:
- Diversity is who we are. It is a broad concept that encompasses all the differences among individuals. Diversity, therefore, is inclusive of all people and their thoughts, ideas, backgrounds, and experiences.
- Equity is how we do it. It is the guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all.
- Inclusion is what we do. It is bringing individuals and groups into processes, activities, and decision/policy making in a way that empowers and values them.
For more background on how WACD arrived at this point, please review Equity: where are we now?
Part 1: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policy statement
The DEI policy adopted by WACD (available below) speaks to how WACD will focus energy in the ways that WACD functions:
- We commit to encouraging greater diversity in our state board and in local conservation district boards.
- We commit to a continual examination of our own programs, policies, procedures, and actions to improve DEI in our work for and with conservation districts and conservation partners.
- We commit to working with every member district in Washington State to encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion in their leadership, their staff, and their service to their communities.
Part 2: Actions recommended by the Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The CDEI developed recommendations (available below) for implementation over a three-year timeline to allow for staff and organizational capacity. These recommendations focus primarily on creating tools and relationships for those conservation districts who wish to do more diversity, equity, and inclusion work.
- WACD to compile, and make available to interested conservation districts, a list of resources and best practices for equity, community engagement, and outreach with underrepresented communities.
- WACD will develop a central repository where member conservation districts can access resources, tools, and best practices.
- WACD to engage with The State Office of Equity and learn what existing support WACD and conservation districts may be able to receive from the State.
- WACD can work to identify and secure funding opportunities for community engagement and education staff for conservation districts.
- WACD to establish relationships with organizations representing underserved communities so that offers of services and employment are more welcome when shared.
- WACD to consider how to increase community involvement and inclusion in conservation district elections and work with the Conservation Commission and WACD Board of Directors to make recommendations for improvement.
- WACD to conduct an organizational EDI assessment that addresses culture and structure with support from external consultants who use the assessment as a capacity building exercise. The assessment will include a report of recommendations of ways to improve the culture and reduce barriers for diverse employees/members to participate. The process will also train WACD employees in how to conduct similar assessments for conservation districts who are interested. WACD can then conduct EDI assessments for interested districts.
- WACD DEI Committee three-year action plan (490 downloads)
- WACD Policy on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (510 downloads)
- WACD recommendations - DRAFT - R2020-06 (374 downloads)
- WACD DEI policy statement - DRAFT - R2020-05 (361 downloads)
The final policy statement is available at:
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