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/Strategic Priorities for 2022:
- 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
- Creating affinity based programming through programs and community partnerships, you can learn more here.
- Mountain Guide Program scholarship opportunities for underrepresented communities has continued.
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training for AMGA office staff, IT, providers, and board of directors.
- Improving operations of Affinity Program including updating policies and procedures and adding the Alpine Guide Course and affinity assessments.
- Successfully fundraising and dispersing funds from the BIPOC Scholarship Fund, you can learn more here.
- Crafting a proposal and implementing a more equitable scholarship process that will be implemented in 2023. Students will no longer have to up front the cost of their scholarships and receive an reimbursement. You can learn more about that here. Special thanks to members Kendall Chun, Azissa Singh, Matt Zia, Joe Lee, Mary Brown, and Dr. Brian Joseph Gilley for helping revise various versions of this proposal and provide input.
- Partnership with Paradox Sports to help train instructors & guides to work with people with varied abilities (Including Adaptive Clinics at the AMGA Annual Meeting and provider-only webinar with Nate McKenzie).
- Identify best practices for demographic tracking and create questions to integrate into membership database.
- AMGA Speak up program established for members to report Code of Conduct and Ethics violations
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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?
We engage in this work in person at Annual Meeting on a yearly basis in addition, you can always reach out to the co-chairs.
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 local climbing communities to support our affinity programs. 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:
Jaime Pollitte – Membership and Communication Director / DEI Manager- ja[email protected] 603-616-8445 (please text first to avoid phone tag)
DEI Committee Members:
- Lyra Pierotti – co-Chair and BOD member
- Azissa Singh-co-Chair and BOD member
- Jaime Pollitte – Staff
- Brittany Leavitt- BOD member
- Nikki Smith- member
- Joe Lee- member
2018 Women’s SPI Course. Photo: Irene Yee