Shifting Towards Equity: Community Visioning for EE during and after COVID-19

Shifting Towards Equity: Community Visioning for EE during and after COVID-19

On July 8, 2020, over 130 environmental and outdoor educators from New Mexico, Colorado, and Maine along with partners from across the country participated in a virtual summit, “Shifting Towards Equity: Community Visioning for EE during and after COVID-19”. This interactive virtual summit explored the shifts occurring in environmental and outdoor learning at home, at school, and in our communities as a result of COVID-19. Keynote speak Parker Mcmullen Bushman shared invaluable words of wisdom on acknowledging and addressing the needs of many diverse individuals and communities while calling for the ongoing need for conversations and actions across all levels and scales of outdoor and environmental education. Watch the keynote here.

Participants then broke into small group facilitated dialogues exploring the shifts that still need occur to ensure that EVERYONE has opportunities for environmental and outdoor learning every day, while reflecting on the shifts that have already occurred as a result of COVID-19. Group dialogues included sharing, discussing, and exploring these shifts and the strategies needed to navigate the changing educational landscape while holding equity at the center in three areas: “At Home”, “In Community” and “At School”. Notes/jamboards available from July 8th hereShifting to Equity – All group notes

During the July 22nd follow-up event from 10:30 a.m.-noon, we began our time together viewing the Getting Grounded video developed by our amazing Exploring Equitable Education Outdoors Fellows as part of the “Wisdom to Live by During a Global Pandemic” mini-video series released this spring. We introduced to a new tool for systemic change developed in 2019 called “EveryKid,EveryDay,EveryWay” along with  recommendations for immediate and actionable items for this school year for this moment in the COVID-19 crisis for EE at Home, EE in Community, and EE at School. Additionally, we explored considerations for shifts towards equity at an organizational level as well as recommendations to the field of EE and outdoor education.The recording of the event is available by clicking here as well as a link to the resources shared via the chat and in small breakout rooms as a google doc.

Our three states (NM, CO, and ME) are meeting to sort through next steps, including the development of a brief from what was reported out on Wednesday. We will have a New Mexico specific community convening follow-up event which will be announced over our ecoed listserve soon.

Thank you to our design team of Eileen Everett, Katie Navin, Olivia Griset, Meghan Young, Everette Hill and Vicki Pozzebon! And many thanks to our incredible facilitators: Katie Macaulay, Fiana Shapiro, Kelly White, Kimberly Caputo, Jordan Stone, Olivia Marin, Laura Flores, Shantini Ramakrishnan, Allison Martin, Chris Sylvan, Lisa Eaden, Deborah Fard, Lesley Petrie, Julianne Gagnon,  Paige Nygaard, Johan Sifa, Amara Ifeji, Melissa Tian, and Ania Wright. Lastly, thank you to NAAEE for supporting this effort through ee360 funding!!!