José G. González is the founder and director emeritus of Latino Outdoors. He is an experienced educator as a K-12 public education teacher, environmental education advisor, outdoor education instructor and coordinator, and university adjunct faculty. As a partner in the Avarna Group and through his own consulting, his work focuses on Equity & Inclusion frameworks and practices in the environmental, outdoor, and conservation fields.
Holding Space for Equitable Sociocultural Risk Management
We want participants to connect with the awe of nature, the development of leadership skills, and a myriad of other opportunities that come with guided, facilitated, and structured outdoor programming. It is imperative, for individual and institution success, that we continue to do better, to strive for, and maintain and reach aspirational goals in this area.
Along with this is the recognition of accepting a charge and responsibility to continue to ensure that these experiences are equitably accessible to an ever-changing demographic. Our work should not be for a diminishing few based on historical and institutional exclusion, dependent on what zip code you're born in, or other markers of generational, institutional, and racial privilege. To make this happen, we also must account for risk management not just between the individual and the physical environment, but also the social and cultural environment and the socio-emotional wellness of participants who come to these spaces with different lived experiences, expectations, and value-add to what we offer. This is the opportunity before us, and one I believe we are well-poised to succeed in.