Most organizations that reach out to us what to know how to proceed with equity, diversity, and inclusion  (DEI) efforts. They are hungry for best practices, toolkits, checklists, and training on how to tackle the elephant that is DEI  (“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”) But focusing on the “how” and “what” takes us away from the more foundational question of “why.” The success of DEI work is predicated on organizations being able to clearly articulate why equity, diversity, and inclusion should be prioritized.

If you cannot explain why this work is important for yourself, for your leadership, for your colleagues, and for the skeptics, you’ll be lost before you even taken that first step. The “why” can look different for you personally, for a trip leader or program staff member if you run outdoor programming, for a volunteer, for your leadership, and for your board. And you need to be fluent in the entire range of “whys” so you can pick the right “why” from the buffet table at the right moment to resonate with the person you’re interacting with. A couple of weeks ago, we partnered with Transforming Youth Outdoors to facilitate a webinar on the various “whys” of DEI. Watch this one-hour webinar to learn more.