Tennessee Wildlife Federation Strategy for Growth in Diversity

Purpose Statement

Tennessee Wildlife Federation believes that our work and our mission are non-partisan and non-discriminatory and welcoming to all. From this belief, we have over our history sought to expand the conservation community by engaging and recruiting into our work all peoples. It is through this diverse family of Tennesseans concerned for conservation that we will engage diverse communities and introduce them to the wonders and benefits of Tennessee’s great outdoors.

Our desire and goal is to proactively pursue relationships with people who bring varied and diverse life perspectives so that those perspectives can be applied to our work and efforts to accomplish our mission, “To lead the conservation, sound management and wise use of Tennessee’s wildlife and great outdoors.”

To these ends, we will pursue the ideas captured in this document over a three-year period and will develop annual progress reports to show an accounting of our progress.

Board Leadership Actions

Proactively seek conservationists and sportsmen of different ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds to serve on the Federation’s board of directors, advisory board, and committees who share our passion for conservation, wildlife, and our mission.

Staff Leadership Actions

  • Proactively seek wisdom to understand the experience of underrepresented communities from community leaders across Tennessee, and seek their thoughts and input on their perspectives as to how best to engage other underrepresented community leaders on conservation
  • Engage existing conservation leaders who come from historically underrepresented communities to broaden the Federation’s understanding of their perspectives in conservation and apply them to make our organization more diverse, and better able to accomplish our mission
  • Continue participation in diversity trainings for Federation leadership
  • Seek funding to add staff to (a) help the Federation understand how to best engage underrepresented community members interested in conservation and (b) empower those members to become active participants in the conservation community and our work
  • Proactively diversify the Federation’s staffing with qualified professionals who are passionate about our mission without a reduction in capabilities to fill the respective roles
  • Pursue appropriate training/consulting to engage Federation staff on the topic of diversity

Programming Actions

  • Actively seek to understand existing barriers that prevent underrepresented communities from feeling welcome in our programs or from enjoying outdoor experiences
  • Actively seek partners who can utilize our programming approaches to reach a more diverse population of participants
  • Actively pursue and establish funding to assist those who may need financial assistance to participate in our programming
  • Identify and develop conservation volunteers from underrepresented communities who will become active leaders and recruiters for our programming efforts