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  • Writer's pictureHannah Newell

E3 Washington Conference: Day 1 - E3 Day

Environment, Equity and Economy. E3 Washington is the professional association for environment and sustainability educators offering legislative advocacy, best practice and professional development opportunities, networking, and other supportive roles to increase the capacity and effectiveness of all environment and sustainability education (ESE) organizations in the state.

Through the structure of a volunteer board that supports individual committees working towards specific goals, E3 WA provides the backbone of upholding this field.

Each session from the conference today focused on providing information about individual committees and inviting voices into the conversation around what that committee can do to support and uphold the field of Environmental Education.


The Catalyst Committee

The advocacy arm of E3 WA - wields our collective power to positively influence state and national policy.

Education for a Green Economy

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This document set out to determine:

1) The distribution and visibility of green jobs in the statewide workforce system

2) Whether there are strategies in place to provide all youth, especially youth with barriers, access to green job pathways

3) The level of awareness of the green economy amongst students, educators, counselors, workforce professionals and employers across Washington.

But who holds the power in these fields? And how do you effectively teach for personal power?

These were the questions that opened up a discussion on how to remove barriers to 'green' jobs and when to start introducing youth to the various career possibilities while not putting the pressure of career pathways and success on our young students.

Our youth are the next generation that will be working towards a 'green economy' so how do we support them? Modeling, mentorship, and access to opportunities. As an adult, your learning is just as important as the teaching of youth. It is how you model what positive social emotional engagement can look like and how we can effectively work together towards building a 'green economy'.

Career Connect WA is one state-wide resource that is supporting students in learning about career pathways through experiential learning.

WOIS/The Career Information System is another resource.


The Convenings Committee

Growing Your Region: A conversation on what groups around the region would need to develop Allied Networks that support the growth of the field of environmental education.

Allied Networks is a network of environmental and sustainability education organizations that work to build equitable, collaborative and inclusive practices through a community of practice. We discussed what has worked in networks that already exist, what resources or tools are needed to support networks and how to do this work throughout the state of Washington effectively.

Certifying Informal Educators: The big question is, would it be beneficial for E3 WA to provide EE certifications as an affiliate of NAAEE. We had a lively discussion on the benefits of an official certification and what it can do for the field of Environmental Education. Some thoughts that arose are around what a certification would include, how it can benefit your employability, how we can recognize the plethora of trainings EE professionals have already gone through.


The Equity Committee

E3 WA's JEDI Report: Using the framework of the Continuum on Becoming an Anti-Racist Multicultural Organization, E3 Board Members have deliberately worked on moving themselves further along the continuum. They identified using particular practices to support them in moving along the continuum:

  • Progressive Stack - A technique designed to give marginalized groups a greater chance to speak. Allowing people to speak on the basis of their identities (race, sex, etc.)

  • Participatory Democracy - Collective sharing and inviting people into the process. Their committee work brings in non-board members who help guide the work of E3.

  • Anti-Racism, The People's Institute - Using the 6 definitions of racism, we can be aware of the way we support and uphold white supremacy and racism in this field.

Some resources that come up from our conversations were:

JEDI Community of Practice - E3 WA is developing a statewide Community of Practice around assessing and supporting JEDI work in your organization and across the field of Environmental Education.

Learning Equitable Design: A space for problem solving, fostering a sense of belonging and switching to an abundance mindset.

To frame the conversation, we were encouraged to read the following resources:

The Sierra Club - Pulling Down Our Monuments

How do these histories show up in your work? What are the JEDI related problems of practice that are present in your communities?

Using the template below, we started to work through some of these JEDI related problems of practice we identified in our communities. The tool builds a framework of restorative work and develops a routine of practice.

Problem Solving Template - A great tool for use with all communities (workplace, families, classrooms, etc.)

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