Wilderness Inquiry Diversity & Inclusion Statement
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA) are foundational to Wilderness Inquiry’s mission to connect people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to each other and the natural world through shared outdoor adventures. Since 1978, Wilderness Inquiry has sought to serve people from all walks of life, including individuals with disabilities, youth from racially and ethnically diverse and/or low-income backgrounds, and all others who face structural or systemic barriers to the use of public lands and waters. We remain committed to increasing diversity within our organization and in our outdoor adventure and educational programs. Wilderness Inquiry believes diversity is expressed in a variety of ways, including physical, emotional, cognitive, intellectual and developmental ability; race and ethnicity; national origin; culture; socioeconomic status; gender; sexual orientation; age; and religion.
Wilderness Inquiry believes that people are part of all natural systems, and that every person deserves equitable access to the physical, mental, emotional, and societal benefits derived from time spent outdoors. We aspire to be a strong partner in building a more equitable, diverse, inclusive, and accessible outdoor recreation community for everyone. We acknowledge the structural and systemic barriers that limit access to outdoor spaces for many individuals. Wilderness Inquiry acknowledges our responsibility to do our part in breaking down these barriers and addressing structures of oppression that limit access to the outdoors for all.
To meet this responsibility, we are committed to (a) creating a board of directors and workforce that are more representative of the people we seek to serve; (b) fostering an inclusive organizational culture that encourages, supports, and celebrates the diverse voices of our employees, community members, and stakeholders; and (c) developing and providing programs and services that improve access to the outdoors for all people who have been historically underrepresented in nature-based recreation spaces.
Diversity: Appreciation of the resiliency that biodiversity creates in natural systems and recognition that community connections and resilience will also be realized through appreciation of the diversity within humankind, especially as we embrace a variety of identity spectrums and their intersections with one another.
Equity: Fairness that is achieved by reducing the inequalities to accessing the health/wellness benefits of nature that exist due to discrimination based on identity dimensions and other factors.
Inclusion: Feeling of belonging in the natural world and of being authentically heard, seen, valued and fully involved in the outdoor recreation community.
Access: Dismantling the physical, cognitive and structural barriers to full participation in outdoor recreation, including mitigating or eliminating opportunity gaps; cultural and language disenfranchisement; and bias in information sources and relationships.
Through Wilderness Inquiry’s DEIA Initiative, we pledge to achieve the following goals:
- 20% BIPOC* employee demographic across all positions by the year 2025
- 90% positive or improving satisfaction rating amongst all staff members regarding perceptions of equity and inclusion at Wilderness Inquiry
- Redesign of current programs and engagement models for deeper diversity, equity, and inclusion impact for launch in 2022
*BIPOC: This term is used as an umbrella to describe folks who identify as Black, Indigenous and person of color. We acknowledge that race and ethnicity is nuanced and recognize that racial identities are not limited to this term.