NAISMA will strive toward continual improvement in being mindfully diverse, inclusive, and equitable in all of our work

Managing for Diversity

North American Invasive Species Management Association’s Statement on Diversity and Inclusion

Released: September 2020

NAISMA supports a culture of inclusion through all of our programs, communications, and work to support invasive species managers. NAISMA recognizes that the racist systems of North America’s institutions have disadvantaged non-white ethnicities since Europeans colonized these lands. As a membership association and employer, we commit to resisting racism. We commit to fostering diversity. We aim to do so through hiring the best team members and empowering all staff and board members to challenge racist systems; recruiting and mentoring Black, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQ+, and people of color (BIPOC) to our membership, board, and committees; and supporting said recruitment through scholarships and other outreach.

We aim to connect NAISMA’s work and support for invasive species managers alongside civil rights moving forward as a part of our strategic plan. We will regularly measure our success in improving diversity and equity through quantified metrics and pivot as necessary in order to continuously improve outcomes. Past environment and conservation leaders have not always created equitable opportunities for BIPOC. Addressing the challenges of invasive species now and in the future will require multidisciplinary and multicultural collaboration to the fullest extent possible. In particular, we humbly recognize the gift of listening to and learning from Indigenous knowledge, learning and ways of knowing. Our organization aims to include more Indigenous teachings regarding managing invasive species while supporting both agriculture and biodiverse landscapes.

NAISMA welcomes and encourages participation by all individuals regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, national origin, physical or mental difference, (dis)Ability, politics, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or subculture. We strive to cultivate an Association built on mentorship, encouragement, tolerance and mutual respect, thereby engendering a welcoming environment for all.

NAISMA will strive toward continual improvement in being mindfully diverse, inclusive, and equitable in all of our work. We know we will make mistakes, and we commit to working toward being more cognizant of diversity, inclusion, and equity issues. We encourage all members to always feel welcome to contact staff and board members to provide suggestions on how to better represent and serve North America’s invasive species managers from diverse backgrounds.

Further Reading

Finney, Carolyn. Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014. Print.

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