An aerial photo of the city of Eugene and a river intersecting a highway in the fall.

Social Justice + Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives

Image credit: Joey Hamilton

Race, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force

As Willamette Valley stakeholders answered to the social justice movement in 2020, WVVA convened a taskforce to listen to partners, provide a safe space to discuss processes as well as look for training and informational materials to help partners implement social justice initiatives into their work. Within this space, education with consultants touched on cancel culture, feedback loops with frontline staff to ensure that training and protocols were understood at the consumer level and emphasizing the importance of showing up and HR practices.

Continuing to convene the training and education Task Force will lend to modular education creation for frontline staff and guest service training that can be customized to the individual organization, a guided roadmap to implementing DEI policy, and other strategic partnerships into 2021–2022. Discussion on a strategic partnership with multiple agencies is already underway with the support of WVVA’s stakeholders and Task Force members.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training

WVVA provided DEI Training with Clinton Street Consulting for Willamette Valley industry leaders. The training is a first step in un-learning and understanding power structures within systemic racism, Oregon’s history, and identifying the various amounts or forms of privilege we carry.

Trail Evaluation

In early 2020, WVVA and Eugene, Cascades & Coast worked with a University of Oregon Environmental Policy class to develop a new trail evaluation system. This system works to gather additional trail information that is helpful for someone beyond the fully able-bodied outdoor recreationist to make informed trail visitation decisions. COVID-19 shutdowns meant the students were not able to go to trails and put the evaluation system to the test. In spring 2021, with the help of a Willamette University student intern, a biennium plan is being created to start evaluating and better displaying trail information in the region. In addition to the creation of a process and cadence to evaluate trails and work to include the information in regional content, the plan outlines a method to engage with the population it’s intended to serve.

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