Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Statement

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for the Friends means:
working to respect differences, remove barriers, and create opportunities.
As we do this, we will strive to celebrate the gifts of each individual,
to treat all people with dignity, and to find strength and value in our uniqueness.

  • The Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah (the Friends) will create a working environment that invites diversity, and that values, encourages, and embraces our employees’ differences in life experience and personal history; gender identity, self-expression, and sexual orientation; educational background and learning style; beliefs, political views, and religion; physical and mental ability; race, culture, and ethnicity; unique capabilities and talents; socio-economic, family, and marital status; and all the other characteristics that make each of us unique.
  • The Friends recognize that through acceptance and celebration of these individual differences, our organization becomes stronger. Furthermore, we understand that we will better serve our mission to protect and enhance native ecosystems and compatible recreation in the Mt. Pisgah area through expanding these practices into our broader interactions as well. To this end, we will treat all individuals in our community with value, respect, and dignity, including our board of directors, staff, volunteers, members, event participants, park users, park neighbors, collaborators, partners, business supporters, and all others with whom we interact or impact.
  • The Friends recognize that there are populations in our community that have historically been and currently are excluded, underserved & underrepresented in our work. We commit to improve their access to our organization and build partnerships with them towards long-term, mutually beneficial, authentic relationships to ensure their experiences and world views inform our work.
  • The Friends understand that the barriers that others face may not be apparent to us, may not make sense to us, or may not align with our personal beliefs. Nevertheless, we will strive to increase our awareness and understanding of these barriers and to seek ways to reduce or eliminate them in our work.
  • The Friends recognize that as individuals in this organization, we may have intersecting layers of privilege and advantage, as well as ways that we have experienced disparities, disadvantages, inequity, bias, and oppression. As we work to reflect upon our own histories, we will strive to understand others’.
  • The Friends recognize that as individuals and as an organization, we have work to do. We know this work sometimes may be uncomfortable, challenging and painful. We are committed to doing this work. To this end, we strive to be open-hearted, self-reflective, kind, forgiving, and willing to move through obstacles that we encounter.
  • Finally, the Friends know this is a long-term, ongoing process, and that by committing to taking our first steps, we will walk the path towards achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion in our work. We invite our extended community to join us on this path and we hope to learn, improve, and grow as individuals and as an organization.
Developed by the Friends DEI Task Force. Adopted by the Board of Directors in July 2018.