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Early Childhood

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Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion
JEDI

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Learning

Join us in one of the many learning opportunities we host around Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

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Resources

Access our library of resources on equity and inclusion to learn more and grow on your own time.

All Hands In

Action

Join our team of members committed to supporting the JEDI initiatives at KAEE and for our community.

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LEARNING

JEDI Community of Practice (CoP)

The JEDI CoP is a learning community of individuals working to foster and support practices of racial justice, equity, inclusion, and diversity in the outdoors and environmental work. Every other month, we come together on Zoom to learn, dive into different topics of interest, hear from guest speakers, and grow as a community. This is a place to learn from and with each other, to grapple with the inequities that exist in our field, and to practice dialogue around these topics with honesty and empathy. Stay in the loop by signing up for the JEDI CoP listserv to keep the conversation going between meetings, and to receive reminders of upcoming events.

The CoP meets bi-monthly on the third Thursday, 12 pm - 1 pm ET. There are no prerequisites for joining a session, but preregistration is required. Register for each event below to save your spot and receive the Zoom link for joining.

To learn more about the JEDI CoP, take a look at the 2023 JEDI CoP Report.

Teo Georgiev for Fine Acts x OBI

April 18 Guest Speaker

Join us in welcoming John Pollpeter, Lead Naturalist at Woodlands Nature Station at Land Between the Lakes, as our guest speaker on Thursday, April 18 at 12 pm ET.  John will discuss accessibility in parks, programming and more! 

John Pollpeter.png

John leads a team of natural history interpreters for the US Forest Service's Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area (about 170,000 acres) in Western Kentucky & Tennessee. I manage the Woodlands Nature Station, which is located in the Woodlands Nature Watch Area. An 8,000 acre is managed for biodiversity and wildlife viewability. The center hosts seven native-themed gardens (about 200 species), 45 native wildlife species including bobcats, bald eagles, coyotes, venomous snakes, and a captive breeding pair of red wolves. The center also is known for its backyard wildlife demonstrations. It has a thriving big brown bat colony, purple martins, 250 ruby-throated hummingbirds per day, and several species of native songbirds. The center receives 54,000 visitors per year. About 10,000 schoolchildren visit the nature center each year to receive curriculum-based environmental programming. We lead several outdoor excursions per year including nature hikes, kayaking, canoeing, and wildlife-viewing trips, such as elk & bison prairie tours, eagle viewing trips, and waterfowl/songbird hikes.

"As a naturalist with a visual disability, I have had to adapt, take disadvantage, and make it advantage. My condition has made it a strong driving force to make the outdoors available for others." - John Pollpeter

Register for Upcoming CoP Sessions

  • Thu, Apr 18
    Zoom
    Apr 18, 2024, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
    Zoom
    Apr 18, 2024, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
    Zoom
    This is a learning community of individuals working to foster and support practices of racial justice, equity, inclusion, and diversity in the outdoors and environmental work. Bi-monthly, we come together to learn, dive deep into different topics, hear from guest speakers, and grow as a community!
  • Thu, Jun 20
    Zoom
    Jun 20, 2024, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
    Zoom
    Jun 20, 2024, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
    Zoom
    This is a learning community of individuals working to foster and support practices of racial justice, equity, inclusion, and diversity in the outdoors and environmental work. Bi-monthly, we come together to learn, dive deep into different topics, hear from guest speakers, and grow as a community!
  • Thu, Aug 15
    Zoom
    Aug 15, 2024, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
    Zoom
    Aug 15, 2024, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
    Zoom
    This is a learning community of individuals working to foster and support practices of racial justice, equity, inclusion, and diversity in the outdoors and environmental work. Bi-monthly, we come together to learn, dive deep into different topics, hear from guest speakers, and grow as a community!

Want to skip registering for individual events and have the full year of meetings added to your calendar?  Register here.

Our Last Meeting

In February, the JEDI CoP welcomed guest speaker Leandra Foreman, FoodChain Co-Director. FoodChain is a unique nonprofit organization that has grown, changed, adapted, and pivoted since its inception in 2011. Much of the growth was planned from the beginning, but many of the ways that it has come about have been in direct response to the needs of the community and a changing food landscape. Leandra will talk with our community about building in flexibility to respond to the changing needs of our community as part of a justice-minded approach to nonprofit work. 

Questions? Contact the CoP Co-Facilitators.

Roberta Burnes, roberta.burnes@ky.gov | Jackie Lomore, jlomore@sayreschool.org | Brittany Wray, brittany@kaee.org 

JEDI Book Club

Join us as we further the discussion around JEDI work through the JEDI book club! We will meet monthly on the fourth Thursday at 7 pm ET. 

Our current read is The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein. This book should be available in your local public library. It is also available for purchase at bookstores and online. Learn more about The Color of Law. Stay tuned for an announcement about the next read!

To prepare for the final meeting, participants are encouraged to read the following portions of the book.

  • April: Epilogue and Chapters 9-12

Camila Leão for Fine Acts x OBI

Register for Upcoming Book Club Meetings 

  • Thu, Apr 25
    Zoom
    Apr 25, 2024, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Zoom
    Apr 25, 2024, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Zoom
    This book club provides an opportunity for members to delve more deeply into topics beyond the Community of Practice (CoP) sessions.
  • Thu, May 23
    Zoom
    May 23, 2024, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Zoom
    May 23, 2024, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Zoom
    This book club provides an opportunity for members to delve more deeply into topics beyond the Community of Practice (CoP) sessions.
  • Thu, Mar 28
    Zoom
    Mar 28, 2024, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Zoom
    Mar 28, 2024, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Zoom
    This book club provides an opportunity for members to delve more deeply into topics beyond the Community of Practice (CoP) sessions.
  • Thu, Feb 22
    Zoom
    Feb 22, 2024, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Zoom
    Feb 22, 2024, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Zoom
    This book club provides an opportunity for members to delve more deeply into topics beyond the Community of Practice (CoP) sessions.

Questions? Contact the Book Club Co-Facilitators.

Jennifer Beach, jennifer.beach@kentonlibrary.org | Perry Thomas, perry@kaee.org

eeCourse | JEDI101

This course is designed to provide a strong foundation in the language, concepts and principles of equity work. It is meant to be an introductory course and spark interest in further learning around justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. This course was developed through a partnership between the Center for Diversity and the Environment, EcoInclusive, Environmental Educators of North Carolina, Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education, Kentucky Association for Environmental Education, and Youth Outside.

This is a six-week, asynchronous course offered each spring and fall. Participants will complete coursework on their own time with required weekly submissions. Please see the syllabus for details. Learn more and register at the links below.

Image by Zach Reiner

RESOURCES

A significant part of our work at KAEE centers around cultivating collective impact and bringing people together to create a stronger and more inclusive movement. With this in mind, and looking to our fellow NAAEE Affiliate friends for best practices in information dissemination, we share here a collection of equity and inclusion resources—from articles to videos to recommended books to podcasts to experts—with our members, donors, and the wider community.

Image by Zach Reiner

ACTION

JEDI Action Team

KAEE wants to ensure that everyone in Kentucky, inclusive of race or ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, background, disability, economic status, or any other aspect of identity, has the opportunity to experience and lead environmental and outdoor learning in ways that are relevant to them. Just as diversity is necessary for strong natural communities, we are stronger because of our differences as humans.

Action Team Members

Jennifer Beach, Kenton Co. Public Library

Tina Brouwer, Red Oaks Forest School

Roberta Burnes, Kentucky Division for Air Quality

Ginny Delaney, Jefferson Memorial Forest

Sagan Goodpaster, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government

Meg Gravil, Eastern Kentucky University

Alice Hilton, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government

Hannah Harris, Red Oaks Forest School
Maddy Heredia, Kentucky Division of Forestry

Jeri Howell, Josephine Sculpture Park

Beverly James, Floracliff Nature Sanctuary

Rae McEntyre, Retired Kentucky Department of Education

Pattie Stivender, Bluegrass Greensource

Perry Thomas, Oldham County Conservation District
Wendy Warren, Berea College Forestry Outreach Center

Carolyn Waters, Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands

Leadership Team

Co-Chair: Jackie Gallimore, Sayre School

Co-Chair: Pony Meyer, Raven Run Nature Sanctuary

Ashley Hoffman, KAEE Executive Director

Brittany Wray, KAEE Deputy Director

Interested in joining the action team?

KAEE, as part of the NAAEE Affiliate Network, practices the lifelong learning that is required for effective diversity and inclusion work. We are refocusing our efforts toward safe, equal access to the outdoors for all. Read more about this work that centers social and environmental justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility on a national level.

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