Justice Outside, The Lawrence Hall of Science, Pisces Foundation, and Informing Change are proud to partner in creating Network for Network Leaders: Justice, Community, & Outdoor Learning to advance a more equitable, just, and influential network model that centers the experiences and knowledge of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, specifically leaders of networks that impact the outdoors, environmental education, and environmental justice.
Who is this for?
The Network for Network Leaders is for those leading, or wanting to lead, a regional* and/or statewide network centered on connecting people to the outdoors in meaningful ways. These leaders recognize the importance of elevating and promoting the various ways of learning and being in connection with the outdoors that communities have been practicing for decades and even centuries. These leaders are motivated by the idea of justice for people and the planet; and are committed to racial equity in their individual and collective efforts.
In our 2023 pilot cohort, we selected 19 incredible leaders based on the following criteria:
- Leaders of a regional and/or statewide network (i.e.-a network that is not national or hyper-local in scope)
- Leaders of established regionally based networks, with priority offered to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
- Leaders of emerging or newly developed regionally based networks, with priority offered to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
What is the goal of the Network for Network Leaders?
The goal is to expand vibrant and thriving networks that advance a more equitable, just, and influential outdoor, environmental education, and/or environmental justice field centering the experiences and knowledge of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. In this network we want to highlight and focus on five strategic priorities:
- Support personal and professional relationship-building & wellness
- Strengthen knowledge and capacity about anti racism, equity, and justice at the intersection of the outdoors
- Accelerate the networks’ capacity to design their network activities with justice and equity principles at the forefront
- Support member-driven advocacy and awareness-raising efforts
- Facilitate learning, strategic shifts, and awareness of the backbone network model
Being a part of the Network for Network Leaders:
Professionals who participated in the pilot cohort of this network engaged in events that promoted individual wellness, collective joy, community building, the cultivation of brave spaces, and overall professional growth of those leading networks in the outdoor, environmental education, and/or environmental justice field. The following is a list of the key activities that the 2023 cohort participated in.
2023 Cohort Events and Opportunities in Review:
In-Person Kickoff: A three-day, in-person space to build community, learn from peer network leaders, and experience joy together.
Virtual Professional Learning Workshops: Two professional learning workshops to provide participants opportunities to learn collaboratively from each other and other field leaders.
Virtual Racial Affinity Spaces: Racial affinity spaces are an opportunity for participants to explore pertinent topics with people who share a similar racial identity. The space is intended to increase a sense of safety and provide deepened community and solidarity with peers.
Virtual Open Space Conference: The Open Space Conference is an opportunity in which participants create their own agenda to discuss ideas and topics that feel most relevant to them.
Coaching: Participants were given the opportunity to partner with a coach to receive up to 2 hours of coaching in an area of interest identified by each participant.
Applications for Network for Network Leaders 2023 are now closed. The team behind the pilot Network for Network Leaders is currently working to envision the future of Network for Network Leaders and how this work can continue. Stay tuned for more information in 2024! Please contact our Program Coordinator Mo Henigman at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
*Regional network refers to efforts that are addressing the needs and wants of a geographic region. This is often seen in regional references such as Pacific Northwest, Southwest. It can also refer to multi-county efforts or efforts that span a state or multiple states.
“This has been a powerful cohort. The sessions and exercises we employed have had a profound impact on me as an individual. These positive impacts are having ripple effects on my network. Furthermore, the knowledge and understanding I’ve obtained has helped me as a leader and to facilitate a more inclusive and equitable network.”
“For me, networking is relationship building…It’s about connecting with folks, it’s about heart space, and I felt like the space that the team created for us felt so healing, felt like we could connect at that heart level, and see each other in the work that we do.”
“[The Network for Network Leaders] was this really nice mix of sharing tools, and modeling, and leading us through our own journey with professional development without being talked to, and providing a lot of space for connection, and collaboration, and to evolve and