Inclusive Practices for Tumultuous Times: Environmental Educators' Role in Supporting the LGBTQIA+ Community


Inclusive Practices for Tumultuous Times: Environmental Educators' Role in Supporting the LGBTQIA+ Community

Raindrops fall on a rainbow umbrella. White and yellow text says "Inclusive Practices for Tumultuous Times: Environmental Educators' Role in Supporting the LGBTQIA+ Community"

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The U.S. is experiencing an escalation in cultural and legal attacks against LGBTQ+ communities, especially in education. How will our field respond?

In this eeWEBINAR, LGBTQ+ co-presenters Libby, Charzy, and Yarrow share guidance to environmental educators for navigating the current cultural and political climate. This session reviews legislative trends, highlighting their relevance to the field of EE, along with their physical, mental, and material impacts on educators and students. Co-presenters offer principles for inclusion based on personal experiences and research, along with actionable strategies for how to stay motivated, connected, and hopeful about the future.


Libby VanWyhe, Regional Coordinator, Oregon State University Extension Outdoor School

From Libby: I have an M.S. in Environmental Education, and I’ve been an outdoor educator since 2008. I am passionate about inclusive outdoor experiences which connect kids with nature through science and creativity. Currently, I am a regional coordinator for Oregon State University Extension Outdoor School. Some of my personal identities include: queer, non-binary, asexual, neurodivergent, and geek!

Yarrow Koning, Regional Coordinator, Oregon State University Extension Outdoor School

Yarrow Koning (they/them) is a queer, non-binary environmental educator and multimedia storyteller currently based in Georgia. Yarrow holds a Master of Education in Environmental Education from Florida Atlantic University and specializes in environmental education that centers equity, justice, queer ecology, and multispecies liberation. Yarrow is also the Co-Director and Impact Campaign Coordinator for the new Queers 4 Climate Justice documentary Can't Stop Change: Queer Climate Stories from the Florida Frontlines.

Charissa Jones, Outreach and Inclusion Coordinator, Oregon State University Extension Outdoor School

Charissa Jones smiles, wearing glasses, a brown patterned headband, and green shirt while standing outdoors.

Charissa V. Jones, also known as Charzy, (she/her), in the simplest form, likes to talk and listen—though she tries to listen more than talk. She is a cultural and community connector with over 15 years of experience in education systems (including formal, informal, and environmental and outdoor education spaces) and community engagement. Originally from Suriname, South America, Charzy is interested in (re)connecting folks to their environments and (re)connecting mainstream environmental organizations to the many ways people explore, engage with, and participate in their environments. She is a science education doctoral candidate in the College of Education at Oregon State University, where her research explores how power, privilege, and social identity (specifically race and gender) affect how we experience the outdoors. More specifically, she focuses on disrupting anti-Blackness in outdoor and environmental education, highlighting and validating Black Joy, and exploring how critical frameworks like Black Feminist Thought (BFT) can enhance the transformative potential of outdoor and environmental education. As the Outreach and Inclusion Coordinator for the Oregon State University (OSU) Extension Service Outdoor School program, Charzy collaborates with partners to ensure inclusive and equitable programs and environments for all students.

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This webinar is brought to you by ee360+ and eeINSPIRE.

ee360+: Building a Stronger and More Inclusive Movement Through Collective Impact

An ambitious multi-year initiative, the ee360+ Leadership and Training Collaborative connects, trains, and promotes innovative leaders dedicated to using the power of education to create a more just and sustainable future for everyone, everywhere. Led by NAAEE, ee360+ is made possible through funding and support from U.S. EPA and twenty-seven partner organizations representing universities and nonprofits across the country, and five federal agencies. Through this partnership, ee360+ brings together more than five decades of expertise to grow, strengthen, and diversify the environmental education field. Visit to learn more.

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eeINSPIRE: Sparking Innovation in Environmental Education

We are pleased to continue eeINSPIRE, NAAEE's webinar series presented in partnership with the US Forest Service. This series is designed to bring new ideas and thinking to USFS conservation educators, but is open to all who want to sign up!


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Upcoming eeINSPIRE Webinars

We look forward to seeing you online, and stay tuned for updates on upcoming webinar topics such as increasing civic engagement through education and service-learning, becoming a natural and effective storyteller, citizen science in education, building a diverse and inclusive field, and more!