Since time immemorial, Native American people have inhabited, crossed, lived on, and been stewards of the lands that make up what we now know as Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. We recognize the complex and difficult histories that have shaped American public lands, from dispossession of Native lands and forced removal of indigenous communities to create public lands and parks, to the ongoing exclusion of people of color from conservation and preservation movements. We acknowledge that the area known as Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and its surrounding areas are the ancestral land and historical territory of the Hopi, Zuni, Dine/Navajo, San Juan Southern Paiute, Kaibab Paiute, Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, and Acoma nations.

 

Our Responsibility

Grand Staircase Escalante Partners believes that all people should be able to access, enjoy, and learn from the Monument. We are working to ensure that GSENM is inclusive of all people, provide equitable access, and protect culturally and historically important resources within the Monument.  

Living these values starts from within. Our organization provides equal opportunity and a work environment free from discrimination. We welcome and strive to unite people of all ethnicities, genders, sexual orientation, socio-economic situations, class, religions, abilities and ages and empower them as individuals and as a team. We have implemented human resources practices, internal policies, and procedures that reflect these values. Our Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee meets monthly to advance these initiatives. Our staff participate in trainings, quarterly readings, and discussions to learn and grow individually and as a team so that we can lead by example in the national conservation landscape.       

We are launching new programs and making changes to existing programs to make them more inclsuive and more reflective of the diverse group of people who have connections to the Monument. Our Native Perspectives series highlights the importance of including more Indigenous knowledge and participation of Native peoples in land management. In 2021 we will begin to offer interpretive and educational outings on the Monument that provide access and opportunities for young people to connect with the landscape and learn about its cultural history, ecology, and conservation. If you are a part of, or know of a group that would be interested in participating, please contact us to learn more about these opportunties.

 

Our Commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) is committed to cultivating and providing equal opportunity and a work environment free from discrimination. GSEP welcomes and strives to unite people of all ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, socio-economic situations, class, religions, abilities and ages and empowers them as individuals and as a team. GSEP values and promotes justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in our board, staff, members, and supporters and in the communities we serve. GSEP seeks to continually expand the voices and contributions that advance our efforts to protect the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

GSEP believes that:

  • There are historically underserved and underrepresented populations in our country and in our communities and we need to actively identify and eliminate barriers to ensure their full participation in public lands
  • Everyone connects and engages with nature in a way that reflects their culture, experiences and personal preferences
  • Everyone should have access to public lands and inclusive experiences within them
  • The future of preserving and protecting the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is tethered to connecting the diverse youth of today to the outdoors
  • Exposure and connection to the outdoors resulting from access to public lands have important physical and mental health benefits for individuals and communities.
  • A more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization improves the bottom line, attracts more talent, increases retention and fosters innovation
  • Diversity yields more creative, collaborative, synergistic and effective outcomes
  • Engaging in diversity, equity and inclusivity work is necessary for the health and growth of GSEP as leaders in our communities
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential in our mission to protect and preserve the vast landscapes of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument for present and future generations. Our vision is to reflect the diversity of backgrounds in our communities and the broader diversity of our nation. As we approach the work of consciously cultivating the diversity of our organization, we commit to intentionally incorporate equity, inclusion, and diversity into our priorities, program strategies, workforce, structure, budget, business practices, communications, and workplace culture. Through these efforts, GSEP envisions our organization becoming more comprehensive and effective in its work to the benefit of all involved.

Definitions:

Cultural Humility is the suspension of what you know or what you think you know about a person or group based on generalizations about their culture. This includes the commitment to lifelong learning and critical self-reflection, recognizing and challenging power imbalances for respectful partnerships and institutional accountability.

Diversity is any dimension that can be used to differentiate groups and people from another based on which we may be treated differently in society.

Dimensions of diversity include but are not limited to variation of age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, class, veteran status and other aspects of identity that make us unique. Respect for and celebration of the diverse perspectives, work experiences, lifestyles and cultures we each bring to the table drives innovation and allows our organization to thrive.

Equity is an approach to ensure all people have equal access to the same opportunities, whether that is access to public lands and the experiences they offer, the benefits of a healthy environment including clean water and air, and job and partnership opportunities with GSEP

Inclusion is celebrating, welcoming and elevating diversity to a state of being valued, respected and supported.

It’s about making a conscious effort to focus on the needs of individuals and ensuring the right conditions are in place for persons to achieve their full potential. Inclusion should be reflected in an organization’s culture, practices, decisions, and relationships that are in place to support a diverse workforce.