COEC Commitment Statement

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Colorado Outdoor Education Center Statement of Commitment to Racial Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We, as Colorado Outdoor Education Center, commit ourselves to the pursuit of justice and to the expansion of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of our programs. As educators and community builders, we know that a sense of belonging is crucial for growth and development, but we also recognize that culturally and institutionally ingrained systems of privilege and power in which we participate have made some people not always feel that they are welcome here, especially members of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and LGBTQ+ communities.

Our COEC Vision is to “create a better world through transformative educational experiences that inspire and empower children and adults to make a difference.” That remains true, but we recognize that this potential has not always been accessible to all children and adults. Historically, the demographic makeup of our staff, client, camper, and student populations has not reflected the demographics of our state or country as a whole. We are made up of a predominantly white year-round staff and we primarily serve groups who reflect our in-group characteristics. If we are truly committed to creating a better world, we need to commit to changing that. We will work at the forefront of educational and social developments to diversify and expand both the population that we serve and the people that we employ, as well as make the outdoors a more accessible and comfortable place for them.

As lifelong learners, we are committed to taking action in service of change. We commit to evaluating our hiring guidelines, practices, and policies and modifying them to search for and hire a more diverse staff. We will examine our program policies for evidence of racism, sexism, and other exclusionary practices or language. We will also expand our marketing, both for staff and for prospective students, clients, and campers, in an effort to better reach BIPOC communities. We commit to restructuring our onboarding process for new employees entering into each program and/or into COEC as a whole to better emphasize inclusion and equity. Further, we will forge partnerships with other outdoors-based and educational organizations who serve groups not typically offered access to the outdoors, such as members of the BIPOC community or residents of under-resourced areas.

We commit to providing continuing education specifically in the areas of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion for all members of our COEC community, as we try to make this a place for members of all communities to feel not only as if they are welcome here, but also as if they belong.

With this statement, we hope to provide action steps that we will take as an organization to raise our collective knowledge as well as to make concrete progress towards becoming an anti-racist organization. We are dedicated to change.

Yours in community, Colorado Outdoor Education Center

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“To live together in the outdoors building a sense of self, a sense of community, a sense of the earth, and a sense of wonder through fun and adventure.” - Sanborn Western Camps Mission Statement