To do our work effectively, our programs and actions must be relevant, responsive, and accountable to the places and people we serve. As a historically white-led environmental education organization, we recognize the legacy of racism, injustice, and anti-Blackness within our field, and understand that we have perpetuated and benefited from racism. It is our responsibility to use our unearned privileges to combat racism and stand with those fighting for justice.
Staff members have been prioritizing the advancement of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) within IslandWood’s work for some time. In 2019, we formally made commitments to operationalize JEDI principles throughout the organization, in all aspects of our work, and laid out specific priorities to move this work forward. We are committed to the work required to make continual progress on our goals and to being held accountable to these goals.
In 2019, as part of our ongoing equity work, IslandWood made the commitment to focus in particular on race equity. We are focusing on race equity, not because we believe other inequities don’t exist or aren’t vitally important, but because in the United States one’s race – more than any other factor – is the biggest determinant of educational outcomes, wealth, health, exposure to environmental pollutants and hazards, and life expectancy.
We understand there is an inextricable connection between educational justice, environmental justice, and racial equity. This work is not ancillary, or “outside” of IslandWood’s mission. It is central to our work in environmental education, and of inspiring healthy communities and a healthy planet.
Action steps include ensuring that all staff understand and have access to the organization’s JEDI vision; leadership team guides on practical applications for JEDI throughout the organization; directors and managers set annual JEDI goals for their departments that are relevant to our mission, their department, and their staff; prioritizing the hiring of BIPOC candidates to our staff and board; and ensuring our annual budget reflects our commitment to JEDI training for all staff.
This priority means that all programs at IslandWood, including our school programs, teacher professional development, graduate program, community programs, and private events are culturally responsive in their design and execution. Action steps include ensuring that every program understands how JEDI fits into their work; that meaningful assessments of JEDI exist; and that teams are regularly assessing the advancement of racial equity within programs.
Action steps include applying a JEDI lens to onboarding and training practices; that staff in managerial and supervisory capacity participate in JEDI trainings; ensuring that performance reviews and professional development are aligned with JEDI goals; and staff members have the opportunity to assess the organization’s progress against our JEDI vision through the annual staff survey.
Action steps include continued diligence in ensuring that all IslandWood communication continues to be respectful of the communities we serve; that we are transparent about our JEDI goals and sharing our progress against those goals; that we amplify POC leaders and voices within our field; and that we make our communications accessible to all audiences.
Action steps include proactive communication with various stakeholders such as schools, parents, graduate program alumni, community and government entities; a formal and regular process for gathering feedback from key stakeholders; and a formal process for sharing stakeholder feedback with our board of directors.
Action steps include training and support for managerial and supervisory staff in leading a JEDI culture; JEDI training for all staff; progress on JEDI goals is regularly shared with staff via monthly staff meetings, department meetings and quarterly newsletter; JEDI goals are incorporated into each staff member’s professional development plans; all staff have the opportunity to assess the organization’s progress against our JEDI vision through the annual staff survey.
IslandWood’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity (JEDI) Council is a staff committee that focuses on the advancement of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the organization. The Council supports and advises leadership, teams, and staff members in operationalizing DEI work at IslandWood.
IslandWood’s JEDI Council was formed in 2007 by 15 staff members to focus on recruiting staff that better reflect the communities that our organization serves, and to break the cycle of exclusion that is so prevalent in the environmental and education fields. Throughout the last decade, the Council’s advocacy and action have led to professional growth for staff and teams and the creation of culturally responsive and inclusive policies and processes.
The Council offers expertise and insight critical to supporting the progress of DEI priorities at IslandWood. This includes resource finding and sharing, informal training/gatherings, responsive brown bag lunches, and overall guidance/problem-solving on issues relevant to operationalizing DEI work at IslandWood.
IslandWood acknowledges that we live and work on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people, who have been stewards of this region's land and waters since time immemorial. While the majority of our work takes place on Suquamish and Duwamish land, we also conduct programs on the land of the Snohomish, Puyallup, Muckleshoot, Skokomish, and S’Klallam peoples.
4450 Blakely Ave. NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 206.855.4300
IslandWood is a registered 501c3 charitable organization.
A Special Thanks to our corporate sponsor
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.