November 01, 2023

ANCA CONNECTS: DEI Discussion Group Schedule

Do you strive to make your organization equitable and inclusive? Connect with other nature center professionals working on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) through the ANCA CONNECTS: DEI Discussion Group. We recently opened registration for the DEI Discussion Group through the first half of 2024.

This group allows professionals in our field to share experience and insights with each other, exchange relevant resources, and make plans for action. These programs are open to anyone who wants to advance DEI efforts within their organization. If you’re just curious about this work, starting out recently, or you have years of experience, we invite you to join us for learning and sharing together.

What to expect:

  • Insightful conversations and sharing of professional experiences
  • Exchanging resources and educational materials
  • A supportive community that encourages taking action to promote DEI

Each program has a specific topic within DEI work for discussion. See the schedule below and use the following registration form to sign up for one or more programs.


All program times are 10-11:30am AKT / 11am-12:30pm PT / 12-1:30pm MT / 1-2:30pm CT / 2-3:30pm ET

Nov 15, 2023: Open Space

Let's discuss the challenges and opportunities around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work at your center and the nature center profession. We'll use an "Open Space" format where any participant can suggest a topic ahead of time. Depending on the number of participants, we may utilize breakout rooms for different topics. Learn how Open Space works here.

Jan 17, 2024: Equitable Compensation and Hiring Practices in Environmental Education

This session will provide an overview of the recommendations in the Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance’s eeGuidance for Equitable Pay and Hiring document related to equitable compensation, position design, recruitment, and hiring processes. We will also discuss recommendations and resources for employers to use this document highlighting the Maine Environmental Education Association’s recent work on equitable compensation as a case study. The session will be interactive with time for participants to connect in small groups to discuss their own reflections on this complex issue, share challenges and solutions.

Facilitator: Olivia Griset, Executive Director, Maine Environmental Education Association; Advisor on the SEEA eeGuidance for Equitable Pay and Hiring document

March 20, 2024: Indigenous, Native, Natural: What Do These Words Mean to a Living Culture?

How do we honor the past and the living culture of the Indigenous peoples that lived and may still live on or near the land a park or historic organization occupies, beyond a land acknowledgment? We will explore modern questions regarding Indigenous life past, present, and future, in historic spaces.

Facilitator: Lizen Hayes, Executive Director of Autrey Mill Nature Preserve & Historic Center

May 15, 2024: What Does Equitable Engagement Mean for YOUR Nature Center?

Everyone talks about engaging with their community, equitable access to the outdoors, getting kids outside...but what does that actually mean? Let’s talk about it! Discuss how The Discovery Center in Philadelphia uses “Standards of Excellence” to engage the community around them, and the steps Mitchell Lake Audubon Center in San Antonio is taking to be a conservation action center for everyone. We want to hear what steps your center is taking to engage equitably.


  • Sara Beesley, Director, Mitchell Lake Audubon Center
  • Corina Solis, Conservation Coordinator, Mitchell Lake Audubon Center
  • Damien Ruffner, Audubon Program Manager, The Discovery Center


For your convenience, all programs use the same registration form. Registration is $15 per program for ANCA Members, and $30 for non-members. ANCA CONNECTS Annual Pass holders register for free.

Register here

If you have questions, please contact ANCA Membership & Programs Coordinator Daniel Auer, at . These programs will not be recorded. ANCA Members receive a 50% discount code; if you are a member and don't have the code, please email Daniel at .