Dear Camp Fire Community,
As I reflect on last year which included unprecedented social, economic, and health crises, I am incredibly proud of Camp Fire’s kids, families, staff, volunteers, and donors. Together, we addressed a myriad of challenges facing Camp Fire including navigating the drastic financial implications of the pandemic and finding new ways to safely continue serving our community.
As we honor Black History Month and celebrate our first Black & Asian-American Vice President, I wanted to share our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion actions from the past year:
- We forged a new partnership with black-owned small business Campfire Coffee, whose mission is connecting youth and families of color to nature.
- We expanded our Equity Statement & added a Land Acknowledgement
- We instituted Summer Camp Anti-Bias Hiring Practices
- We completed an Organizational Cultural Appropriation Audit
- We reached out to local Native American tribes for support & guidance in properly removing totem poles at Camp Sealth
- We added our personal pronouns to our email signatures affirming our inclusion of transgender and non-binary people in our community.
As we continue to reckon with all the lessons multiple pandemics and last month’s white supremacist insurrection at the Capitol have taught us, we are committed to making DEI an even bigger priority moving forward.
Camp Fire National’s CEO Greg Zweber recently echoed this,
“Our youth are asking us for brave leadership. They are challenging us to embrace these difficult times as a catalyst to get our priorities in order.”
Consequently, we are weaving DEI into the fabric of our organization. Dedicating time at each of our staff and board meetings and expanding the DEI Task Force to include numerous community stakeholders.
We have also created four DEI cornerstones that will be used to inform our work:
- Our own biases
- Land Acknowledgement
- History of cultural appropriation
- Anti-bias & anti-racism training for staff
- Anti-bias & anti-racism curriculum for our kids
- Cultural Appreciation vs. Appropriation
- Micro aggressions in the workplace
- Partner with Black-Owned Businesses
- Diversify Board of Directors
- Diversify Staff
- Local Tribe Engagement
- Hiring Practices
- Financial Aid Requirements
- Demographic Surveys
- Cultural Appropriation Program Practices
We are committed to this work, not only because we believe it is right, but because it is what our young people are asking us to do.
I look forward to sharing more with you throughout the year. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out with your feedback, questions or thoughts. Your input and partnership are key to creating a more just and equitable Camp Fire.
Wishing you health & high spirits,