Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Inclusivity at the AMGA
The American Mountain Guides Association is committed to building and supporting a diverse community of guides and instructors. In order to fully accomplish our mission, we strive to make our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) foundational to our organizational structure.

Current Initiatives

  • The AMGA has a formal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee that is comprised of our board, staff, members, and experts in this subject that advise and direct DEI initiatives at the AMGA
  • Updated the Code of Ethics & Conduct to include cultural competence. “As professionals, we must be culturally competent. We must treat clients, the public, our fellow guides, and others with respect. The AMGA assumes that all human beings, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or creed, are entitled to enjoy the mountains without threat of discrimination, diminution of their values and customs, or disrespect. An AMGA professional is expected to be an ambassador of human compassion and understanding.”
  • Creating affinity based programming through programs and community partnerships, such as: Women’s Rock Guide Course, Women’s Single Pitch Instructor Courses, and the Ascent Alpine Skills Course.
  • An increase in Mountain Guide Program scholarship opportunities for underrepresented communities
  • AMGA Speak up program established for members to report Code of Conduct and Ethics violations
  • Partnership with Paradox Sports to help train instructors & guides to work with people with varied abilities (Including Adaptive Clinics at the AMGA Annual Meeting)
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training for AMGA employees and stakeholders (instructor team, Single Pitch Instructor providers, national office staff) each year at annual meeting
  • Partnering with women – and women of color-led organizations to create programs
  • Providing in house support for affinity based Mountain Guide Programs, including DEI supplemental training and staff consulting
  • DEI training for general membership (Kathleen Nalty unconscious bias training at 2018 annual meeting, gender forums at 2015 annual meeting)
  • 2019 annual meeting: national instructor team received a 4 hour DEI training led by Monserrat Alvarez and Lila Leatherman, DEI consultant
  • 2019 annual meeting: multiple clinics on incorporating DEI into your guide and instructing practice, including DEI Member Forum
  • 2019 Article in the Guide Bulletin. Inclusive Guiding and Instruction.

The 2018 Women’s SPI Course. Photo: Irene Yee








Action Plan – Updated June 10, 2020

  • Working with corporate partners to continue and increase affinity based programming in 2020 and beyond
  • 2020 Adoption of harassment policies for SPI/CWI Providers and AMGA Accredited Businesses
  • 2020 Update to Accreditation and SPI Provider resources to include DEI resources outside of annual training/review
  • Developing DEI educational resources for members
  • The DEI committee is actively taking steps to change the composition of the group to include more people of color with the goal of seating new members at the October 2020 Board meeting. You can find the current DEI Committee Members at the bottom of this page.
  • We have  created a Black, Indigeneous, People of Color Scholarship Fund for our membership base. AMGA Instructor Team members have already contributed over $3500.00 to the fund. If you would like to contribute to the scholarship fund, you can go to the donation page on the AMGA website and choose: “BIPoC Scholarship Fund”.
  • The AMGA Board is actively seeking BIPoC candidates for the next Board of Directors election in October.
  • We will be facilitating a training with the AMGA Instructor Team and Climbing Instructor Program providers at the end of July to discuss ways in which they can support and stand with AMGA members of color.
  • We will be hosting a listening session with People of Color from within the AMGA membership to receive feedback and formulate ideas for additional initiatives and opportunities for growth. Please help us spread the word to members who may not receive our emails. Sign up via the google form. Any questions? Email: [email protected]
  • If you are searching for ways to be more inclusive in your guiding and instruction check out this article created by DEI Committee members and published in our most recent Guide Bulletin. 
  • We will be sending a Survey to the AMGA  membership to receive feedback on the direction of AMGA DEI initiatives over the next five years.  The survey will be used to inform a five year strategic plan for the AMGA DEI program that will be released after approval of the AMGA Board. 


  • Scholarships and affinity based courses are a good start. What are you doing on a deeper level with DEI?

    We hear you and agree that we have a lot more work to do. Scholarships and affinity based specific programming is just a start, and a big step with our organization as we continue to strive to fix our pipeline problem and get more under-represented identities involved in the AMGA. This work includes updating our policies and procedures, providing DEI training for our staff and providers, and providing anonymous spaces for code of ethics violations reporting.

  • How do I get involved with DEI work at the AMGA?

    At our 2019 Annual Meeting the DEI committee will be meeting with the membership to facilitate a community forum and share about the work we are doing. We encourage you to attend the meeting this year to learn more and remain involved.

  • If I experience a code of ethics violation from an AMGA member what should I do?

    As of October 1 AMGA Members will be able to report any code of ethics concerns through a 3rd party firm that will intake and investigate all claims. More info to come soon.

  • Is the AMGA working with any other organizations in the outdoor industry to support inclusivity and diversity?

    The AMGA is partnering with Brown Girls Climb, Flash Foxy, and the American Alpine Club to provide the Women’s SPI Course. Paradox Sports is our Annual Meeting Partner for providing adaptive climbing training. We hope to continue to build community partnerships, if you would like to partner or have suggestions please reach out to the team.

For more information on what the AMGA is doing to expand opportunities within our membership:

Contact information
Holly Barrass – Membership Director – [email protected]
or Monserrat Alvarez – Membership and Inclusion Coordinator – [email protected]

DEI Committee Members:

  • Lyra Pierotti – Chair
  • Erica Engle – Founding Member
  • Monserrat Alvarez – Staff
  • Holly Barrass – Staff
  • Azissa Singh – Member
  • Paul Koubek – Board Member
  • Angela Hawse – Standing Member as Board President

2018 Women’s SPI Course. Photo: Irene Yee