A common question I hear from friends groups is: How do we get more young people involved? You’re not alone. This question is being asked by organizations all over the country in the outdoor recreation and conservation sector.
We understand that friends groups want to ensure their work and stewardship is sustained into the future, and that means connecting new folks to friends group activities and leadership roles. So, how do you do that? Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet answer. It will require time, energy, and investment in many different efforts.
I wanted to share with you one way I’ve been trying to find answers to this question: learning about and engaging in JEDI work. JEDI stands for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
I recently tuned in to two webinars presented by the Avarna Group, a nationally known consulting group that focuses on the intersection of social and environmental justice and JEDI. In these webinars, the Avarna Group highlights how trail groups and outdoor organizations can start evaluating and working towards more welcoming spaces for everyone. They highlight many actions that can be taken as an individual and as a group.
I invite you to watch each of the two webinars to start thinking about how your group may invite, support, and engage with more folks with different backgrounds and experiences.