Diversity Committee

The Diversity Committee shall work to engage a broader and more diverse community of environmental professionals by advocating for the inclusion of multiple voices that represent perspectives and expertise from various backgrounds and identities, including but not limited to: abilities, academic discipline, age, career, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender identity/expression, geographic location, language, nationality, political beliefs, position within organization, race, religion, sexual orientation, sex, and/or socio-economic status. The Diversity Committee shall work in partnership with other AESS committees and the AESS Board of Directors to accomplish its purpose, which is aligned with AESS’ overall mission.

The Diversity Committee shall pursue its work with the understanding that a diverse membership and leadership will help make AESS (“[the] Corporation”) a stronger organization more likely to attract future leaders in the environmental field. Diverse groups of people with varied perspectives are more successful at solving complex problems, such as the ‘wicked’ socio-ecological problems that confront society.

Contact the Diversity Committee dei@aessonline.org

Co-Chairs: Diamond Holloman (she/her/hers) & Elly Engle (she/her/hers)


AESS Diversity Committee Charter

I. Purpose:

The Diversity Committee shall work to engage a broader and more diverse community of environmental professionals by advocating for the inclusion of multiple voices that represent perspectives and expertise from various backgrounds and identities, including but not limited to: abilities, academic discipline, age, career, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender identity/expression, geographic location, language, nationality, political beliefs, position within organization, race, religion, sexual orientation, sex, and/or socio-economic status. The Diversity Committee shall work in partnership with other AESS committees and the AESS Board of Directors to accomplish its purpose, which is aligned with AESS’ overall mission.

The Diversity Committee shall pursue its work with the understanding that a diverse membership and leadership will help make AESS (“[the] Corporation”) a stronger organization more likely to attract future leaders in the environmental field. Diverse groups of people with varied perspectives are more successful at solving complex problems, such as the ‘wicked’ socio-ecological problems that confront society. 

II. Composition:

From the AESS By-laws:

SECTION 2. COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP AND COMPOSITION.  (a) All Corporation committees shall be constituted, as much as possible, to represent a diversity of academic disciplines and professions associated with environmental studies and sciences, including the physical and biological sciences, the social sciences and humanities, engineering, law, and other disciplines or professions as appropriate.  All committee members shall be members in good standing of the Corporation.  

In addition:

  1. The Diversity Committee shall strive to have members that represent as many different identities, voices, and perspectives as possible, based on but not limited to the items listed in the “Purpose.”
  2. The activities of the Diversity Committee shall be coordinated and facilitated by the Committee Chair. The length of term and appointment of the Committee Chair will be determined by the President and Board of AESS, in consultation with the members of the Diversity Committee.
  3. The Diversity Committee shall function as an ad hoc committee.

 

III. Goals and Tasks: 

Build partnerships and conduct outreach

    1. Build relationships with other diversity-serving organizations and institutions
    2. Build relationships with researchers working with Global South communities and related topics
    3. Create a diverse speakers’ network from within AESS membership and from those outside of AESS
    4. Consider and help to develop a statement on Diversity within AESS 
  1. Increase access and inclusion
    1. Propose a conference code of conduct
    2. Propose and support an AESS Ethics Committee
    3. Create more diversity-related opportunities within AESS 
      1. Build networking opportunities
      2. Investigate a tiered membership and conference rate based on income and other pertinent factors
      3. Establish a conference scholarship or travel award
      4. Propose alternative and diverse types, forms, and topics for conference sessions
      5. Identify and support diverse plenary and keynote speakers 
    4. Encourage other AESS committees and groups to increase diversity
  2. Assess AESS
    1. Conduct gap analysis of AESS conference, committees, groups, and organizational structure in terms of diversity, inclusion and equity
    2. Review journal for representation of diversity in the field
    3. Survey to assess current demographic make-up of AESS membership, conference attendees, and possibly listserv members, as well as assess climate in terms of diversity and inclusion
  3. Support underrepresented environmental professionals and academics, marginalized communities, and others whose voices have traditionally been silenced in the field of environmental education, studies, and sciences

IV. General Information

From the AESS By-laws:

SECTION 6.  COMMITTEE MEETINGS AND VOTING. (a)  The committee chairs shall be responsible for scheduling, establishing the agenda of, and presiding over the meetings of their respective committees, but the committee chairs shall not vote at committee meetings, except when required to break a tie vote.  By contrast, the committee chairs-elect may vote on any matters that come before their respective committees.  

(b) The presence of a majority of the current members of the committee at the start of a meeting shall constitute a quorum.  

SECTION 7. REPORTS.   Ad hoc committees shall submit reports on their activities as directed by the President or the Board. Reports may be submitted electronically and shall also be available for review by Corporation members.

In addition: 

The Diversity Committee shall strive to make decisions through discussion and consensus-building, rather than voting.  This allows voices of all members to be heard and the priorities and interests of traditionally marginalized and underrepresented groups to be considered equally, rather than dominated. 

 

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