Crystal Mandica (The Amphibian Foundation) shows a carpet python to attendees of Critter Camp, a youth outreach initiative organized by The Amphibian Foundation.

PARC National Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Team – Sparking the Conversation on Inclusive Herp Conservation

The most pressing conservation issues require us to work across borders and with people of different cultures, beliefs, and values than our own. To remain relevant in a globalizing landscape, conservation groups should reflect the diverse identities and perspectives of the communities for which they intend to serve. As a whole, North American and European conservation organizations have failed to meet this standard and often struggle to engage communities disproportionally affected by the environmental issues they seek to address. This lack of diversity amongst conservation practitioners and scientists, and the structural barriers that have led to it, demand a shift in our institutional cultures and policies.

In 2017, Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) formed a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Team (DEITT) with the goal of improving cultural competency and providing an equitable platform for those who are working to conserve amphibians, reptiles, and the places they live. The task team oversees a variety of activities across the U.S. ranging from social media campaigns and diversity training for conservation leaders to demographic surveys and support for inclusive environmental outreach programs. The TPP grant will assist in expanding PARC DEITT’s reach and help us develop a sustainable framework to fund travel awards to PARC meetings. If you are interested in bringing these ideas to your organization or your meetings, we are happy to share our products and expertise. See more at our website or please contact us at diversity @ parcplace. org.