Across our state, environmental education (EE) professionals are deeply interested in equity and inclusion. Currently, participation in training on this is often cost prohibitive for environmental professionals. While there are a number of amazing multi-day deep-dive trainings, the multi-hundred-dollar cost is often unattainable for the small, underfunded organizations with limited professional development dollars or whose low-wage staff pay for their own professional development. While the quality of those deep-dive professional trainings is undeniable, there is a major need for an introductory course that provides foundational knowledge without that cost barrier, helping employees make the case for their organizations to invest in further training and inspiring individuals to continue their personal learning.
EENC has been working over the last year to create an ongoing, affordable training for EE professionals through a partnership between Center for Diversity and the Environment, EcoInclusive, Youth Outside, Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education, and Kentucky Association for Environmental Education.
This summer, we're launching registration for our first cohort in this 10-15 hour asynchronous online course. For those pursuing EE certification, this course will qualify for Criteria I/continuing education credit.
This course is designed to provide a strong foundation in the language, concepts and principles of equity work for environmental educators and environmental professionals. It is meant to be an introductory course and spark interest in further learning around justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI). The main topics for the course include:
Foundations of communication for sensitive topics, including group agreements and nonviolent communication.
Developing a common language for discussing JEDI topics
Understanding historical intersections of the environmental movement with social justice topics, how those historical events might still be causing impacts today.
Understanding bias, stereotypes, and oppression
Reflecting on power and privilege that different identities afford, how that power and privilege manifests as microaggressions and how to use the power and privilege you had to develop a personal action plan.