University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
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The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UW-SP) has been collaborating with Intercambios, a binational, bicultural consulting group, to advance the cultural relevance of environmental education (EE). Cultural relevance, or inclusiveness, requires deep reflection about one’s own values and behaviors and a long-term commitment to shifting organizational practices.
The “Building More Inclusive Organizations Initiative” was designed to capture the concerns and problem-solving processes of organizations as they worked toward becoming more inclusive. From 2007 through 2009, UW-SP and Intercambios created a Learning Community with Eco Education in St. Paul, MN; Partners in Environmental Cultural Connectedness (PECC) in Las Vegas, NV; and the Norfolk Environmental Commission (NEC) in Norfolk, VA, to begin the internal work needed to achieve inclusiveness objectives.
During the two-year initiative, the Learning Community participated in both formal and informal processes. Through a facilitated meeting conducted in September 2007 in Minneapolis, MN, each organization developed an action plan or blueprint to guide its own processes. Through conference calls and site visits, Intercambios facilitated dialogue and critical reflection within each group and within the Learning Community as a whole while documenting progress achieved, obstacles encountered, and lessons learned in the journey toward the intended outcomes. In October 2009, UW-SP and Intercambios brought the Learning Community together in a facilitated retreat in Oregon City, OR. The group took time to reflect on and articulate the lessons they learned in the process of becoming inclusive and extrapolated these lessons to the broader environmental education profession.
Community development; Culture; Environmental literacy; Environmental sciences – Study and teaching
Civic and Community Engagement | Community-Based Learning | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Sciences | Natural Resources and Conservation
The Learning Community
Building More Inclusive Organizations Initiative: Evaluation Report.
Available at: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/pli_environment_education/9