JEDI in our Communications Department

OUR PAST

In 2017, through a review with the University of Washington’s Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity and feedback sessions with IslandWood graduate students, it became clear that our communications were full of tokenism, saviorism, and we were perpetuating negative stereotypes. While our intentions may have been positive, the actual impact was not. We were causing harm to the very people we were seeking to serve. With this clarity, our communications team set out to change the course of our marketing, accurately representing, both in words and visuals, who our work seeks to serve, and why 

WHERE WE ARE NOW

Our communications team works to respectfully, authentically, and transparently communicate about IslandWood’s work, our impact, and with each of the various groups that we serve. Some of the changes we’ve made since 2017 include: 

  • Creation of Inclusive Communication Guidelines 
  • Leading other internal departments through Inclusive Communication Guidelines 
  • Transparency on our website about our JEDI work, goals, and progress toward our goals 
  • Sharing the work of BIPOC environmental education leaders & organizations  
  • Sharing anti-racist resources  
  • Closed captioning of all videos on our website for people who are hearing impaired 
  • Photo descriptions on all images on our website and social media posts for those that are blind or visually impaired 
  • Addition of personal pronouns in staff bios on our website  
  • Acknowledging the Indigenous Nations our programs take place on, both on our website, and on our social media  
  • Increased visual representation of LGBTQ+ couples in our wedding communications 
  • Publishing staff and board demographics 
  • Revision of our campus trail map to more visibly highlight ADA accessibility  
  • Information about ADA accessibility listed for each community event open to the public  
  • Continued education via workshops, reading, community feedback surveys, and conversations with other staff 
  • Policies to compensate people for assets they create, that in turn, we use for communications or marketing purposes, such as photos or blog posts by graduate students  

GROWTH AREAS

The communications team works with many outside partners, including graphic designers, video production companies, and photographers. We have not consciously sought out BIPOC partners and have worked almost exclusively with white partners. In the future, we will be actively reaching out to BIPOC professionals in bidding out external projects.