Update on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Efforts
Over the past five months, we have taken steps to make Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) a more central focus of our efforts for growth and change at Camp, with an emphasis on addressing racial equity at this time.
Having affirmed our commitment earlier this year that Black Lives Matter at Camp Dudley and Camp Kiniya, always, we pledged to strive for justice and peace, in the spirit of our Camp motto, “The Other Fellow First,” recognizing that we can and must do better. We invited the Camp community to join us in this hard and sometimes uncomfortable work, recognizing that this varies for each of us and is ever ongoing.
As an institution that cares deeply about every individual, we are excited about this chapter in our Camps’ evolution. Making meaningful change around racial equity will likely involve discomfort as addressing unconscious bias, historical inequity, or lack of awareness about the experiences of Black people (or any other non-majority groups) requires open, and sometimes challenging conversations. But, we are called upon to lead at Dudley and Kiniya. To this end, we encourage each of us to approach each other without judgment, shame, or blame so that honest conversations can be a vehicle for true change.
This past summer, with the encouragement and contribution of dedicated alumni, we embarked on a conversation about where we have come from and where we want to go. We formed a staff-led DEI working group (composed of current full-time and seasonal staff, and Board members) to review current DEI work at Camp. This review included a focus on:
- Training efforts
- Recruitment and Retention efforts
- Cultural efforts
In addition, we have also focused on other historically marginalized groups in our DEI efforts. While racial justice is at the forefront of our discussions now, we are committed to furthering equity for all in targeted and concretely meaningful ways.
Looking back at our DEI efforts thus far has been a critical step in identifying opportunities for continuous improvement and growth. As a result of this process, recommendations on improving racial equity at Camp were presented to our Board of Trustees at their most recent meetings.
The Board has just launched a Strategic Planning Process and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is among the top areas of focus. As part of this process, the board is working with us in developing DEI strategies and goals. More will be shared with the community as this unfolds.
As an institution, we reaffirm our commitment to learning, betterment, and holistically serving our entire community. This means creating a space together in which people of all backgrounds feel at home: respected, embraced, and safe. We encourage YOU to join us in our continual commitment to live by our core values — to honor the diverse perspectives of our community and foster a culture where everyone can reach their full potential with dignity.
We welcome your input as we continue these efforts and will continue to update our community on ongoing progress. As always, we encourage you to reach out to us via email anytime at Matt@campdudley.org, Marnie@campdudley.org or Chair@campdudley.org to continue the conversation. May we move together with compassion, wholeheartedness, and empathy.
We are listening. We will continue to learn and grow together.