Board Resolution: Commitment to Embrace the Principles of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the C&O Canal Trust

The C&O Canal Trust (Trust) recognizes that committing to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) principles and policies, both internally and externally, can help us advance our mission by strengthening our current partnerships, helping us form new partnerships, and engaging a wider audience. The Trust also recognizes that stewardship and enjoyment of the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) are critical to its continued relevance as a cultural and recreational icon for current and future generations. Hence, the Trust has formed partnerships with diverse community organizations to bring traditionally underrepresented audiences out to the Park to work, play, learn, and serve.

Continued efforts are needed to ensure that our programs, policies, communications, board, staff, volunteers, and daily operations are culturally relevant and respectful of the audiences we seek to engage. We acknowledge that the voices of traditionally marginalized communities are often underrepresented in the values, views, and experiences of the public lands stewardship movement and that we are compelled to contribute to changing this dynamic. The Trust recognizes that fully committing to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion cannot simply be accomplished through programming; the Trust must also exhibit a commitment to DEI principles in our organizational culture and operations.

The Trust commits to lawfully making diversity, equity, and inclusion principles an integral part of our policies, programs, outreach and communication efforts, development, strategic goals, and organizational operations.

We will act on this commitment by:

  • Ensuring an organizational culture of trust and inclusion that makes all staff, volunteers, and board members feel welcome
  • Improving awareness of DEI among staff and board members
  • Forming a DEI Advisory Committee that will guide our progress toward DEI principles in all areas of operation and report to the Board annually. The Committee will also meet at least once a year to evaluate the Trust’s progress.
  • Drafting a comprehensive DEI plan for the Trust
  • Weaving DEI language into our mission statement and communications 

Approved by Board of Directors June 5, 2020