The Texas Master Naturalist Program is happy to announce a new mini-webinar series, “Be The Change”, dedicated to exploring diversity, equity & inclusion opportunities in our natural resource and conservation community. Just as the natural world thrives with biodiversity, our Texas Master Naturalist Program is dedicated to engaging all audiences in conservation, education and stewardship.
One of the goals with this mini series event is to start and continue to conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion amongst the Master Naturalist membership. Another goal of this series is to build a strategic guide or ‘playbook’ for TMN Chapters to use for years to come as they build diversity, equity and inclusion programming into their chapters’ activities. Speakers will share discussion questions and action items for each chapters & members to consider and execute as the series builds towards a capstone workshop – tentatively to be held Spring of 2022. This chapter-developed diversity strategy guide or ‘playbook’ will be a living document, focusing on the goals and action items chapters intend to take for increasing and/or retaining diverse members, along with reaching diverse audiences with their outreach programs. Hopefully this is a document that local chapters can build from for years to come.
Kicking off in March with our TMNTuesday event, this mini-series will run April through September on the third Tuesday of the month (tentatively based on speaker availability). Each of the series will be one hour held at the 12-noon hour CST to allow TMNs to join over the lunch hour if still engaged in the workforce and each will also be recorded for viewing later. These sessions can also count for at least Advanced Training 1-Hour.
- March 9th – #TMNTuesday presentation with Birdability
- April 20th
- May 18th
- June 15th
- July 20th
- August 17th
- September 21st
Speakers and final dates will be announced in the coming weeks. Check back here for more information about speakers soon!
Mark your calendars for April 20th, 12pm CST for our next installment in our Be The Change mini-webinar series. We are very excited to host David Buggs, the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer with Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Stay tuned for more information!
March 9th – Birdability
Recording of the Event
- “You never know what is going to happen when or until you include someone.”
- “One in 4 Americans have a disability.”
- “When you include everyone, everyone benefits.”
- “It’s not enough to just think you’re being inclusive. You have to be intentionally inclusive.”
- “There is no wrong way to enjoy birds in nature.”
Playbook Conversations & Questions
- Are the programs and events you’re involved with intentionally designed to be accessible and inclusive? Considering what you know now, do you think they are as inclusive as they could be?
- At events you’re part of, look around at the participants. Who isn’t here? What can you do ahead of time for future events to make sure those folks know they are invited and welcome?
- Do all your events include accessibility information in the write-ups?
- For any paid events or equipment, is there a way the financial barriers can be reduced or removed? (Grants or sponsorships might help?)
- Is there a way to adapt or modify your programs so that multiple senses can receive the information you’re sharing? Maybe adding captions to Zoom meetings so people who are deaf or hard of hearing can be included… or adding a tactile component to a native plant walk so someone who is totally blind can feel different plants?
- Are your chapter meetings, new training classes and other events (when they’re held in person) held in locations that comply with the ADA Standards? If not, what can you do to make the location as physically accessible as possible?
- Birdability – Guidance Documents tab is full of resources
- Inclusive Bird Outing Leader – although it’s written about birding, almost all of it applies to anyone leading a naturalist/interpretive hike of any kind.
- Inclusive Organizations page is also applicable to chapters
- Access Considerations and Inclusive Language Use are pretty important!