Association for Environmental & Outdoor education


Our mission is to advance the impact of environmental and outdoor education in California

mission & values

Our Mission To advance the impact of environmental and outdoor education in California.


Our Vision We envision a world where every young person lives in a healthy community with access to meaningful learning experiences outdoors.


Read about how we're working towards making our vision a reality in our strategic plan

Inclusivity Statement

We work to center equity for a just and sustainable future for all

Just like environmental and outdoor educators have a responsibility to establish learning environments that are inclusive and welcoming for all learners, at AEOE we strive to create a community of environmental champions where everyone belongs. This work is critical to our mission and vision. If we truly believe that our planet needs environmental education (EE), and that every young person has the right to meaningful learning experiences outdoors, it will take ALL of us working in partnership to make that happen. As an organization, if we want to grow in our reach and capacity, we must be self-critical and thoughtful about ways we can do better to represent and serve the field of EE in our state. This includes the recognition of harmful practices and narratives perpetuated by white-led organizations and upheld by many of the early leaders of the modern conservation and environmental education movement. In order to achieve our mission and vision we must address systemic barriers across our field, promote cultural relevancy as a necessary component of high-quality EE, and acknowledge the interconnectedness of lived experiences of the members of our community and the participants they serve.


We believe that everyone has the right to the physical, social, emotional, and academic benefits of learning outdoors. Access to nature and EE must not be a matter of privilege, and yet many communities experience barriers to environmental and outdoor learning. EE can and should help to break down these barriers and ensure that everyone feels comfortable, safe, and welcome outside. We believe that EE is most effective when delivered in a culturally relevant manner that provides memorable lived experiences and promotes environmental literacy. Through connection and understanding of the natural world, individuals are more inclined to address challenging environmental issues. Cultural responsiveness and environmental literacy are intimately connected and more diverse voices and perspectives lead to greater ideas and solutions for the challenges of our times. 


AEOE is listening, learning, and taking action to become more equitable and inclusive in order to support the transformation of the EE field in our state and beyond. We respect the individuality of each member of our community, and we are committed to establishing working and learning environments that are free of any kind of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sexuality, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, national or ethnic origin, politics, veteran status, or any other aspect of identity. We are working to increase the diversity of our staff, board, volunteers, members, and supporters, and fostering an inclusive network of EE providers across the state. We aim to provide learning opportunities and resources that will support our members and partners on their journeys toward becoming more equitable, inclusive, just, and diverse. 


We recognize that this vital work is never finished. Our efforts will continue to evolve as we engage in dialogue and reflection. If you have feedback or would like to join us in centering equity within our organization, please reach out to aeoe@aeoe.org.

Actions undertaken by AEOE in 2021 to advance equity and inclusion within our work:

  • Focused Board and volunteer recruitment to celebrate all forms of identity – including, but not limited to, race and ethnicity – with the explicit goal of our leadership team being more representative of the state of California

  • Provided scholarships for Environmental Educator Certification Program participants, with a minimum of 50% set aside for those who identify as members of communities that have historically been marginalized within the field of EE

  • Amplification of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-led organizations and the intersectionality of EE, climate justice, and racial justice through our social media platforms

  • Committed more than 40 hours of equity, inclusion, and anti-racism training for AEOE’s Executive Director and offered opportunities for additional training for board members

  • Established new membership tiers to support organizations with varying capacity and for individuals who need financial support to be a part of our network

  • Established annual collection of board member demographics in the following areas: race/ethnicity, gender pronouns, LGBTQIA+ affinity, EE experience, geographic location

  • Sought and secured funding directed towards consultants skilled in equity and inclusion to help us advance this work internally

  • Utilized virtual workshops for greater convenience to attendees, and selected topics of interest for more diverse audiences (e.g. work settings, roles).

  • Established common language for how AEOE commits to advancing this work:

    • Equity – Redistributing access and opportunity by disrupting systemic barriers and privileges that create disparities. 
    • Inclusion – Creating a sense of belonging through celebrating, honoring, and amplifying diverse perspectives, voices, values, and needs, especially from those who experience systemic barriers or disadvantages based on their identities.
    • Diversity  Valuing the differences among us, upon which we experience systemic advantages or encounter systemic barriers in access to opportunities and resources. 

Approved by AEOE Board March 2022

CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL & OUTDOOR EDUCATION

* NEW * Mailing Address: 2930 Domingo Ave., Suite 3028Berkeley, CA 94705

info@aeoe.org

AEOE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit 

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