Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement

Exposure to the transformative and inspiring landscape of Mount St. Helens should be open and accessible to all. At Mount St. Helens Institute, we advocate for that access. We value people from all backgrounds and honor the innumerable ways of learning and knowing, because diverse perspectives and cultural knowledge are integral to achieving a deeper understanding of this landscape and its history.

We acknowledge sociocultural inequities—including, but not limited to, racism, sexism, and classism—limit certain communities’ exposure to science, education, and exploration of the natural world. We grow based on who and how we serve, so to confront and work against these inequities, we strive to:

  • Commit to making diversity, equity and inclusion evident in our organization’s culture, policies, curriculum, programs, and partnerships
  • Value, respect, and acknowledge the unique experiences, talents, and backgrounds of our staff, board, volunteers, partners, and program participants
  • Build collaborative relationships, aware that it takes time and effort to develop authentic and deep connections
  • Remain willing to learn from our mistakes, open to critique and dialogue, and continue to actively learn about diversity, equity and inclusion practices
  • Establish a culture of respect, openness, integrity, and honesty in order to inspire each person’s curiosity and joy

Our Pronouns

At Mount St. Helens Institute, we value all identities and expressions. This is why we choose to include our gender pronouns in our email signature.

What are gender pronouns and why do they matter? Gender pronouns are the words used to refer to someone in third person such as he, she, or they. Many of us assume someone's pronouns based on their appearance, name, or social context, however these assumptions are not always accurate. These assumptions (even if we guess correctly) can send the harmful message that a person's name or presentation determines their gender identity.

The only way to know for certain which pronoun a person wants you to use for them is to hear it from the person directly. We choose to provide our pronouns to eliminate the guesswork. Using someone's correct gender pronouns is a way to show respect for that person and create a more inclusive environment. Thanks for honoring our gender pronouns, and feel free to share yours with us.