Outdoor and Adventure Educators Come Together to Create a Field Guide to Support DEIB Work

AEE News,
For Immediate Release
Contact: Sherry Bagley, Executive Director 
Association for Experiential Education

Outdoor and Adventure Educators Come Together to Create a Field Guide to Support Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Work in All Areas

The Association for Experiential Education (AEE) is pleased to present the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Field Guide: Stories of Lived Experience. This field guide was created to be used by leaders, practitioners, and researchers working with groups to address the challenges of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in their programs and organizations. It is a book of personal experiences, raised voices, and differing opinions that embody the spirit of Dr. Nina Roberts and address social challenges that have existed and still exist today. 

The DEIB Field Guide is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop.com and other outlets. You can find more information about the book, purchase links, the media kit and events at the AEE webpage. 

“This is a must have addition to your library if you want to create or improve upon an inclusive environment for your clients, students, staff and communities you serve,” said Dr. Rita Yerkes, co-editor of the Field Guide and principal of Yerkes Consulting, LLC. “This field guide is one of the few resources available on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging that shares lived experiences and encourages both safe exploration and recommended action steps in creating tolerance and belonging in a classroom, boardroom or in the field.”

Envisioned by Dr. Nina Roberts to be used by those in need of a resource for DEIB training, this guide is Nina’s legacy. In the initial stages of this project, Nina’s energy waned due to the progression of her cancer. Nina paved the way for so many people to advance diversity and inclusion in the outdoors. She strove for equity and belonging for all. She asked that her social justice torch be carried forward. A group of individuals did just that.

Led by Sky Gray, Project director for the Field Guide, the book came to fruition in less than a year. Many people gave their time and talents including the three editors: Rita Yerkes, Denise Mitten and Karen Warren; the Project core members: Sherry Bagley, Bobbi Beale, and Christine Norton; and the Project members: Susie Barr-Wilson, Dani Beale, Monique Brand, George McDonald, Hossein Ordabodian, Tanya Rao, Alyssa Roberts, The Roberts Family, Bob Stanton, Sandra J. Washington, and Sharon J. Washington.

Sky Gray, Project Director had this to say about the project. “This book represents so many deeply personal dimensions of the authors lived experience around diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Dr. Nina Roberts inspired life of service and social justice, can be an example to us all, as we seek to carry her torch and create a more just, compassionate and equitable world. I encourage us all to continue to create equity listening spaces and to create equity eco systems in our work and personal lives. The heartfelt journey that Nina and I shared in the visioning of this book is forever imprinted on my heart. Dr. Nina Roberts says, “we must each learn to challenge systems, change institutional injustices and more”, so we did. 

“Educators and facilitators can use the personal stories, quotes, and definitions in the book to teach about social justice and promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in their programs,” says co-editor Dr. Karen Warren.

Social Media will provide a platform for users of the guide to share their experiences and personal stories. Follow @DEIBfieldguide on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

“Creating this Field Guide was a profound experience,” says Sherry Bagley, team member and Executive Director of AEE. “We started from scratch and produced a book in less than a year. There were so many moments that proved this was a labor of love: from the authors’ courage in sharing their stories, to the herculean efforts of the project team to get it to print, to the compassion and support provided for those grieving Nina, and in the number of volunteers who offered to help. AEE is a special community and we thank everyone who was a part of this project. We have been committed to the production of this Field Guide in order to further Dr. Roberts work and also to support the efforts to bring diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging to the outdoor industry.”

All proceeds from the sales of the book will be put into a restricted fund created in Dr. Roberts name and used for AEE social justice projects and assistance for our members to do more effective social justice work in experiential education. 

For more information please visit www.aee.org or contact Sherry Bagley at sherry@aee.org