Resources » DEI

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resources

If you are wondering what all the fuss is about diversity, equity, and inclusion (abbreviated as DEI), we suggest starting at the top of the page under Getting Started with DEI. The second section presents resources for conservation districts, titled Information & Resources of Immediate Benefit to Conservation Districts. The third section, More About DEI, contains additional resources that may be useful to conservation districts.

A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone. ~ Sundar Pichai

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1 – Getting Started with DEI

What is Conscious Language?

Let’s start with the concept of conscious language. What is it and why is it important?

Conscious language, a term coined by Conscious Style Guide founder Karen Yin, refers to language rooted in critical thinking and compassion, used skillfully in a specific context. Using conscious language involves asking yourself questions such as: Who is my audience? What tone and level of formality do I want? What am I trying to achieve? How might history change the impact of my language choices regardless of my intentions? Who’s being excluded? (Source: Conscious Style Guide)

A good guide to conscious language is available at Best Colleges who suggest these practices:

Be willing to learn

Learning is a lifelong process, especially if you want to educate yourself about new identities and cultural experiences. Addressing and conversing with people from different cultures and backgrounds requires a willingness to learn about and empathize with someone else’s life experiences.

Be respectful

Holding meaningful conversations with people across different identities, cultures, and backgrounds includes honoring the way someone would like to be referred to and talked about (e.g., some situations call for person-first language, while others may call for identity-first language).

Be specific

Because identity is complicated, learning language specific to certain communities and identities is necessary. Try to avoid making blanket assumptions or statements about a person or group of people (e.g., don’t say “students of color” if you’re talking specifically about Black students).

They include this video to help you understand how others are affected by what people say:

What is the difference between Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

The National Association of Conservation Districts provides a very simple entry point to understanding diversity, equity, and inclusion:

Diversity is who we are. It is a broad concept that encompasses all the differences among individuals. Diversity, therefore, is all-inclusive, of all people and their thoughts, ideas, backgrounds, and experiences.
Equity is how we do it. It is the guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all.
Inclusion is what we do. It is bringing individuals and groups into processes, activities, and decision/policy making in a way that empowers and values them. (Source: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force Report, February 1, 2021.)

2 – Information & Resources of Immediate Benefit to Conservation Districts



Jobs and recruitment

Language and generations


3 – More About DEI

Background / beginning topics



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