by RG Absher, Chair, PNTS Fall Workshop and Trail Leaders Council
We would like to welcome you to join us at the National Trails Virtual Fall Workshop! These are indeed challenging times along our National Trails System. With the continuing COVID-19 health crisis, so many schedules, activities, trail events, and trail projects have been placed on hold and altered to accommodate the safety and concern for trail workers, volunteers, and trail enthusiasts nationwide.
In addition, we are at a time when issues relating to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) have come into sharp focus, causing us to reevaluate our work and daily lives. The Partnership for the National Trails System’s recent Statement of Inclusion and Statement of Solidarity have pointed to the need for the Partnership to put into action our commitment to making trail opportunities welcoming and available to people of all backgrounds. We acknowledge this is one step among many we have yet to take, but we are prioritizing these JEDI issues by giving them a central focus at the Fall Workshop.
We invite you to join us from October 21-29, 2020, as we explore these three workshop themes: Advancing Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; Expanding Partnerships Within and Beyond Trail Corridors; and Increasing Capacity Through Organizational Development.
During the workshop, we will also meet the new PNTS Executive Director Valerie Rupp!
The PNTS Fall Workshop Planning Committee and Workshop and Conferences Committee have been working together to make this a lively and compelling workshop. We are adjusting the format and presentations to include interactive and compelling lessons learned sessions. Our goal has been to provide some takeaways and concepts that you can apply at your trail system at the regional and national levels.
By using a virtual format and reducing the registration fees ($75 for standard registration or $25 for student or limited income), we are looking forward to having an opportunity to engage more people. Please register today and continue to share this workshop information. We hope that the workshop will be a gateway to working with a broader array of partners from a diverse set of backgrounds, welcoming new ideas and approaches to our trails and community work. We look forward to seeing you virtually in October!
What to expect as a workshop attendee
The Partnership for the National Trails System hopes that you will find many opportunities to grow your skills and broaden your thinking during the National Trails Virtual Fall Workshop from October 21-29, 2020.
The workshop will spend a day working through some principles and practices that will help individuals and organizations recognize their limitations when it comes to engaging with people of color and other marginalized populations. We hope that these themes, ideas, and practices will carry over as we explore how to expand partnerships within and beyond trail corridors.
As we assess our strengths and weaknesses, we will appreciate that each organization and individual brings certain skills and knowledge to their trail work. By engaging with a broader and more diverse group of individuals and organizations, we aim for the National Trails System to become more welcoming to populations that have been marginalized in our work to date.
And we will find that increasing capacity can be enhanced and expanded as we learn how to welcome and empower marginalized communities. Whether it is fundraising, interpretation and communication, volunteer recruitment, or building new campaigns, we need to apply the lens of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in both our language and our actions.
We have encouraged presenters to engage you, so please come prepared with any prework or readings they may suggest for you to complete in advance. We also will make available to you take-home tools and resources for the various sessions and topics to apply the session’s information in your work. We hope to see you there!
Workshop Sessions: www.pnts.org/new/virtual-workshop-october-2020/
Unless otherwise indicated, all material in Pathways Across America is public domain. All views expressed herein are perspectives of individuals working on behalf of the National Trails System and do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of the Federal agencies.