Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Three young adults seated on the wetlands observation platform at Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick
Broadmoor, Natick

Mass Audubon’s DEIJA Strategic Plan

Creating a Sense of Belonging for All 

In Massachusetts, systemic racial and economic inequities have created a nature deficit in communities of color and low-income communities, denying people access to nature and often excluding them from the environmental movement. Diversity of background, thought, and expression is as natural and necessary in human communities as it is in natural communities.  

Mass Audubon is devoted to creating a just and equitable environment that celebrates diversity and fosters a sense of belonging for all in the Mass Audubon community. To protect the nature of Massachusetts for all people, we must lower barriers that prevent people from accessing nature and participating in this work.  

Our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Accessibility (DEIJA) Strategic Plan maps out a path to doing just that.

A smiling mother and son crouching on a trail at Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester, examining leaves and sticks.
Broad Meadow Brook, Worcester

Three Pillars of Mass Audubon’s DEIJA Work 

The Mass Audubon DEIJA Strategic Plan focuses on three key aspects to achieve our goal of creating a sense of belonging for all: Leadership & Vision, People & Culture, and Community Connections.

Leadership & Vision 

We will foster leadership and responsibility for DEIJA work in every employee and board member and hold ourselves accountable to our DEIJA commitments. 

Goal 1: Every manager is proactively advancing Mass Audubon’s DEIJA work.

Goal 2: All employees support Mass Audubon’s DEIJA work and understand their role in reaching our DEIJA goals.

Goal 3: The Board of Directors embraces DEIJA principles and ensures Mass Audubon’s values, brand, and vision align with these principles.

Goal 4: All employees feel a strong sense of belonging and engagement, across all demographics.

Two Fellows from the Environmental Fellowship Program in a lush, green forest, wearing field dress and holding a compass for navigation
Environmental Fellowship Program

People & Culture 

We will create an internal culture of belonging anchored in inclusive, equitable, and accessible practices to welcome a workforce that reflects the racial, cultural, ethnic, and linguistic diversity of Massachusetts.  

Goal 1: Advance equity and create more opportunities for the development of staff by strengthening and enhancing everyone’s experience of the employee journey. 

Goal 2: Increase and improve pathways for the diversification and professional growth of our workforce, including expanding early career opportunities for young professionals. 

Goal 3: Establish a more accessible workplace that supports people with disabilities and promotes the mental and emotional well-being of all employees. 

Goal 4: Create an inclusive and equitable workplace culture in which all employees, including those with marginalized identities, experience a sense of belonging. 

A Mass Audubon educator Magazine Beach engages  with children and a mom at a table covered with kid-friendly microscopes and other nature objects and science tools
Magazine Beach, Cambridge

Community Connections & Services 

We will center the needs, voices, and experiences of people with marginalized identities within the communities we serve to better protect the nature of Massachusetts for all people. 

Goal 1: Create a stronger sense of belonging for everyone at our sanctuaries and in our programs by enhancing Mass Audubon’s visitor services. 

Goal 2: Center and support Indigenous rights and representation in Mass Audubon’s work, as defined by Indigenous peoples. 

Goal 3: Reduce the nature deficit in environmental justice communities and increase opportunities for deep and meaningful connections to nature for people with marginalized identities. 

Goal 4: Increase the diversity of people who engage with Mass Audubon. 

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu using a shovel to plant a young maple sapling while young children look on at the Boston Nature Center tree planting ceremony to celebrate the launch of the Boston Tree Alliance in May 2023
Courtesy of the Office of the Mayor, by Isabel Leon

Foundational Building Blocks 

Over the next two years, we will prioritize foundational work to help us achieve our DEIJA goals. This foundation is necessary for becoming a more equitable and inclusive place for all. 

Improving the Employee Experience 

We will advance equity and create more opportunities for the development of staff by strengthening and enhancing everyone’s experience of the employee journey. 

Inclusive Recruitment & Retention Plan 

We will create a more inclusive and accessible employee recruitment process and enhance our professional development, support programs, and tools to diversify and strengthen our workforce. 

Professional Learning & Development 

We will provide professional learning and development for staff and governance on the fundamentals of DEIJA, which ensures we learn and grow together. 

Enhancing the Visitor Experience 

Our sanctuaries will become spaces of belonging where everyone feels encouraged to explore, learn about, and champion the nature of Massachusetts. 

Relationships with Indigenous Communities 

As the largest land-based conservation organization in the state, we will include the voices and perspectives of Indigenous peoples and communities across our work. 

Leadership & Accountability 

To reach our long-term DEIJA goals, we will define our measures of progress and provide the board with the information and tools to hold Mass Audubon accountable to its DEIJA commitments. 

A group of people with disabilities, using wheelchairs, forearm crutches, and other mobility devices enjoying the wheelchair accessible trail at Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Norfolk
All Persons Trail at Stony Brook, Norfolk