As you all may have seen on Instagram, the Outdoors Club at UVA has recently added a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) chair officer position in order to recognize our historic complacency in the face of racism and exclusivity in the outdoors, and to hold ourselves accountable now and in the future to making a more inclusive and involved community. Our goal in forming this position is to make our club a more welcoming and inclusive space, and to start a larger conversation about racism in outdoor spaces. We currently have two primary initiatives that we are working towards through this position: to create programming to promote diversity, equity and inclusion within the organization and to record our actions to hold ourselves accountable to the goals we hope to achieve. Our first order of business is to create a committee to work alongside the DEI chair to ensure that we approach this work having considered a variety of different perspectives and experiences. For more information about the committee and the work we hope to do, please see the items below.
Peace, Love and Dirt,
Diversity Equity and Inclusion Chair
|Anna “AJ” Cuddeback
If you are a member of Outdoors Club, and you are interested in working towards realizing our goals of making our club more diverse and inclusive, we encourage you to join the DEI committee. We will be working together to create programs, connect with other organizations on grounds involved with the outdoors and sustainability, and to record keep and form a code of conduct for the club. We will have monthly meetings to discuss current plans for the club and delegate tasks to people or groups of people in the committee. This is a great way to get more involved with outdoors club in a different way than being in an officer position, as you would have responsibilities specific to Diversity Equity and Inclusion within the club, and would be working closely with a team of other members. If you are interested, email Jade at email@example.com or the officers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some of our programming ideas that we are going to be working towards are creating specific events within outdoors club for specific affinity groups so that members of the club have a space they can share with others who have had similar experiences. Additionally we are planning to connect with other groups on grounds who we can actively and positively contribute to, in order to open up a dialogue and build connections with groups who bring a different perspective to Outdoors Club. Both of these are more long term programming goals that we will be building on throughout the semester and the coming years.
More presently we are going to be working on creating records of our progress regarding DEI within the club in order to hold ourselves accountable to making these changes, and to be able to share our progress. We have already signed the In Solidarity Project’s Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge and have started yearly reports for recordkeeping and accountability, which will be added to. Additionally, we are going to work on developing a code of conduct which would be done by the DEI chair and the DEI committee.