Science and Teaching for Field Instructors

Working Towards Equitable Organizations

Workshop Series

The BEETLES Project at the Lawrence Hall of Science and Youth Outside are launching the Working Towards Equitable Organizations workshop series. This 2-year series will support California-based residential outdoor science organizations to build capacity to foster equitable, inclusive and culturally relevant work environments and organizations. We believe that equitable, inclusive and culturally relevant work environments are critical to supporting racially, socio-economically, and culturally diverse leaders. In turn, we believe that having more diverse leadership is a critical step towards fostering a more representative, responsive, and relevant environmental education and outdoor science field for all communities and identities. This pilot workshop series will specifically focus on supporting current organizational leaders to amplify and encourage the voices of educators of color who are significantly underrepresented in the leadership of residential outdoor science schools. It will also better position educators of color to advance in a career path toward leadership positions in outdoor science and environmental education.

This design of this workshop series was supported by a study that sought to better understand how environmental education organizations think about and operationalize equity and inclusion in the work environment by gathering perspectives of environmental education organization leaders and educators of color. Those findings are presented in a practitioner’s brief, along with implications and considerations for the field.

Workshop Details:

This workshop series includes two concurrent tracks: 1) capacity building for current organization leaders and 2) leadership development for emerging leaders of color within that organization.

Over the course of the two year series,with the support of BEETLES and Youth Outside, organizational leaders will engage in discussion, reflection, and action planning about their organizational guiding documents and systems related to equity and inclusion. Each organization will also receive 2 days each year of customized support to contribute to these efforts.

In the second year, the leadership development track of the workshop series will begin. Each participating organization will nominate up to 3 staff of color, who are seeking to further develop the skills necessary to advance in their career trajectory, to attend a 4-day Capacity Building Institute. This Capacity Building Institute will focus on building professional skills related to outdoor science teaching and leadership to support their advancement in leadership pathways within their organizations.

All participants in the Working Towards Equitable Organizations workshop series will:

  • have an increased understanding of historic and present-day systems of oppression and marginalization that exist in the environmental education field;
  • be better equipped to make changes at their own organizations to advance more equitable, inclusive, and more culturally relevant work environments; and
  • become part of a network of leading edge organizations and individuals committed to advancing equity and inclusion within the field of environmental education.


Workshop Series Timeline:

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Application Information:

Applications are currently closed.

Applications are open to residential outdoor science schools in California. Each organization’s leadership team must include 2 leaders from an organization, including at least one person on the “upper management” or “executive leadership” team. Please contact us to discuss who should be on your team if you’re not sure. Organizations must commit to the same leadership team participating in all four workshops over the 2 years, as well as sponsoring 1-3 educators of color to attend the Capacity Building Institute in Year 2.

Our commitment to you:

  • 5 total professional learning events: 3 professional learning workshops for organizational leadership team; 1 Capacity Building Institute for staff of color; and 1 workshop with the organizational leadership team and emerging leaders
  • 2 days of customized support per organization
  • All professional learning events are free of charge, including all room and board
  • Travel reimbursement of up to $250 per person per professional learning event.

Your commitment to us:

  • A team of 2 leaders will attend each of the professional learning events.
  • Sponsorship of 1-3 staff of color to attend the Capacity Building Institute
  • Commitment to engage in open-minded, reflective dialogue about current systems and structures in place
  • Sharing your time, focus, creative energy, and expertise
  • Make a plan to advance equity and inclusion at your organization
  • Participation in related evaluation activities

This workshop series is co-facilitated by Youth Outside and the BEETLES Project at the Lawrence Hall of Science. It has been supported by a team of advisors, including:

  • José Gonzalez, founder, Latino Outdoors
  • Eric Aaholm, Executive Director, YES Nature to Neighborhoods
  • Kim Moore Bailey, Chief Executive Officer, Youth Outside
  • Laura Rodriguez, Youth Outside
  • Rena Payan, Youth Outside
  • Christy Rocca, Associate Vice President, Youth Programs and Services, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
  • Charity Maybury,  Deputy Director, Crissy Field Center
  • Francis Taroc, Environmental Science Specialist, Crissy Field Center

It is made possible by the Pisces Foundation and the Clarence E. Heller Foundation.