top of page


Friends of the Dunes Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy 


Mission: Friends of the Dunes is dedicated to conserving the natural diversity of coastal environments in Humboldt County, California, through community-supported education and stewardship programs.



A: Introduction

As a non-profit organization dedicated to conserving the natural diversity of coastal environments through community-supported education and stewardship, we believe that all people have the right to experience, enjoy, feel welcome, and feel safe in the outdoors. Our work is grounded in the community and we believe that equity, inclusion, and justice form the foundations of a healthy and thriving community. Embracing human diversity must be central to our ongoing work of conserving, sharing, and restoring natural diversity, and we realize we have more work to do in all of these areas.       



B: Recognitions


 FOD Recognizes that…

  • Our organization, like much of the mainstream American environmentalist movement, has been predominantly represented by white individuals. Historically, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) have not been well represented in our staff, board of directors, supporters, or program participants. 

  • To be relevant as an organization that serves the community, we must be representative of the community’s diversity in our membership, volunteers, staff members, advisors, and board members.

  • The places we work to conserve are in the heart of Wiyot Ancestral Territory, and we must honor and respect the role of Indigenous People in stewarding these lands by consulting with tribal members on how their story is told, how these lands can be conserved in ways consistent with traditional uses, and how these lands can be cooperatively managed with the Wiyot People.

  • Different perspectives are important to our organization and we benefit greatly from the individual strengths of each member, volunteer, staff member, advisor, and board member.

  • Privilege, specifically that associated with dominant or majority cultures, manifests itself in overt and covert ways. Addressing privilege requires difficult reflection and honest investigation.

  • We have a responsibility to create a safe and inclusive outdoor space for BIPOC.

  • We must rethink our measures of success. Success in equity and inclusion should be measured by quality of work, not quantity.


C: Commitments

FOD is Committed to…


  • Creating an inclusive culture and welcoming environment in which differences are recognized, respected, valued, and celebrated.

    • Acknowledging publicly that the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center land and the dunes we work to conserve are Wiyot Ancestral Land, in consultation with the Wiyot about how their stories are told.

    • Asking and attempting to answer the question: How do we make our organization and the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center a more welcoming place for all people?

    • Planning and creating events that will be welcoming to all people. Fostering communication with groups who have successfully achieved integrating a diversity of participants in order to gain inspiration and guidance. 

    • Dedicating funds and resources to offering Spanish language programs and translating education and outreach materials into Spanish.

    • Making our education programs more accessible to everyone by providing scholarships and stipends whenever possible to groups who have historically have had less access to coastal environments.

  • Recruiting a diverse board and staff, knowing that diversity in our leadership should reflect our membership and visitors to our sites. We will make sure that diversity, inclusion, and equity are considerations when nominating candidates for the board and when hiring staff members. To uphold this commitment we will:

    • Develop job descriptions and board member recruitment materials that consider Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in their design and embed them into the qualifications;

    • Send job announcements to BIPOC groups at local colleges and in the community;

    • Adopt a resume review process that recognizes a priority to increase social diversity and different types of staff experience.

  • Acknowledging and dismantling any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and continually updating and reporting organization progress. To uphold this commitment we will:

    • Challenge systems and policies that create or uphold existing inequity, oppression, and disparity.

    • Invest in equity and inclusion training for all staff and board members. 

    • Incorporate equity and inclusion discussions into training for education volunteers who work directly with students and the public.

  • Investing time and resources into appropriate and mutually beneficial collaborations.

    • Collaborating with groups doing equity and inclusion work, and listening to their ideas for how to structure these relationships to be reciprocal.

    • Extend ourselves to BIPOC communities: listen and ask communities of color what would be valuable to them in what we do or could do.

    • Developing and maintaining close relationships with other local organizations dedicated to creating safe outdoor spaces for BIPOC.

    • Reaching out to the Wiyot Tribe to see if there are uses of this land they would like to reconnect with or have access to, and offering cooperative management roles.

    • Seeking out and utilizing Black Humboldt POC owned and operated businesses

  • Communicating with our members and supporters about our learning and intention around racial equity and seeking feedback from our community.


D: Conclusion


This policy is a living, working document that should be revisited and updated on a regular basis as our understanding and work on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion deepens and evolves. We approach this work through a lens of Cultural Humility and recognize that the work is ongoing. 





Diversity: Differences in racial and ethnic, socioeconomic, geographic, and academic/professional backgrounds. People with different opinions, backgrounds (degrees and social experience), religious beliefs, political beliefs, sexual orientations, heritage, and life experience.


Equity: justice according to natural law or right


Inclusion: the act or practice of including and accommodating people who have historically been excluded (as because of their race, gender, sexuality, or ability)


Cultural Humility: a lifelong learning practice that honors other people's and communities' expertise in their own experiences. In contrast with “Cultural Competency”, which implies finite learning. 

bottom of page