Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging

Diversity banner, two people holding hands.

FNR acknowledges the traditional homelands of the Indigenous People which Purdue University is built upon. We honor and appreciate the Bodéwadmik (Potawatomi), Lenape (Delaware), Myaamia (Miami), and Shawnee People who are the original Indigenous caretakers. We recognize these peoples as the original natural resource managers in the lands Purdue University now stewards.

Purdue FNR is committed to listening, learning and adjusting our practices from top to bottom to foster a safe environment for all and to make strides toward diversity and inclusivity, while standing up against racial and sexist stereotypes and all other forms of intolerance.

We believe that Black Lives Matter. We believe that all people deserve to be treated with respect, dignity and kindness. We stand against discrimination of any kind, whether based on cultural background, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender identity or expression, national origin, physical or mental status, race, religion, sexual orientation or age.

We will strive to foster diversity and inclusion in all of our activities, from formal classroom and meeting settings to the smallest interpersonal interactions. We will amplify the voices of the underrepresented and those who feel unheard in our department, on the Purdue campus and in our community.

We believe that each member of our FNR community - faculty, staff and students - as well as our affiliate groups, centers and partners, has a part in actively promoting equality, inclusivity and diversity. We all must listen and learn to identify and call out injustice when it does occur. We will work together to welcome those who have felt marginalized or unwelcome by identifying and tackling existing barriers of participation and inclusion and continually education ourselves to better serve them.

As seen in our 2022 Strategic Plan, one of our objectives is diversity, equity and inclusion. We aim to build and sustain a climate and culture in which everyone in the department is included, respected and supported, and individuals are able to achieve their full potential for success.

Initiatives:

  • Recruit diverse staff, faculty and students.
  • Develop and sustain an environment where a diverse community can thrive by actively pursuing the goals of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in all that we do.
  • Empower and incentivize administrators, faculty, staff and students to innovate and participate in the creation of a diverse and inclusive environment.
  • Adopt policies and procedures as well as pursue structural changes that reflect our institutional commitment to inclusive excellence.

In order to encourage and assist with the implementation of diversity, equity and inclusion policies, events and education, Purdue FNR created a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice committee. More information on this committee as well as other DEIJ related resources can be found below.

Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Resources

The field of natural resources, both in academics and professional practice, recognizes concerns with diversity and inclusion. Natural resources and allied fields have historically had - and continue to have - low diversity among professionals and students. Further, the outdoors is not currently a safe space for all. The DEIJ Committee aims to promote diversity, equity, inclusion within justice framework within the Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR).

What does the DEIJ Committee do?
The FNR DEIJ committee makes recommendations to the FNR faculty, staff, and leadership for proposed changes to policies, internal activities and events, and external actions (e.g., student recruitment, staff and faculty retention, etc.) that promote greater justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. The DEIJ Committee will also help FNR faculty, staff, and students build a community that supports a more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive environment both while they are members of FNR and as they continue on in their careers.

Who can be a member of the DEIJ Committee?
The FNR DEIJ Committee is a standing committee formed in September 2020, and membership is open to all members of the FNR community. To ensure representation, the DEIJ Committee includes at least one representative from each constituency (i.e., faculty, staff, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students) and the Department’s undergraduate area of study (e.g., Wildlife, Forestry, Aquatic Sciences). The principle of the DEIJ Committee’s operation is to be open, transparent, and inclusive. Anyone who is part of the FNR community can participate in the monthly DEIJ committee meetings and the Council seeks active participation from the entire department as we pursue a model of Inclusive Excellence.

Who does the DEIJ committee receive guidance from?
The FNR DEIJ committee recognizes that its collective membership does not reflect all experiences, and that to effect change, we should not impose our experiences on the experiences of others. When developing recommendations and proposed actions to implement, the DEIJ Committee relies on information and guidance from Purdue University’s Division of Diversity and Inclusion, the College of Agriculture’s Office of Multicultural Programs and Diversity Action Team in Agriculture, and countless resources shared via print or social media by faculty, staff, students, and outdoorspeople (or aspiring outdoorspeople) from around the world.

What is theDEIJ Committee currently working on?

  • Engaging with departmental and college leadership to help ensure FNR student workers and employees are offered a livable wage or combination of lodging and fair wages
  • Discussing strategies to increase recruitment and retention of minoritized graduate students, staff and faculty
  • Helping leadership add diversity and inclusion as a component for faculty and staff annual performance evaluations
  • Supporting safe outdoor events for all member of the Purdue University and Greater West Lafayette/Lafayette communities
  • Developing learning modules for students, staff and faculty about anti-racism
  • Developing a monthly diversity and inclusion event, in collaboration with Purdue's various Cultural Centers, LGBTQ+ Center and other entities, with a focus on FNR issues and topics

Current members:
Hope Charters, Andrew Coursey, Laura Esman, Anna Erwin, Carolyn Foley, Jackie Getson, Matt Hamilton, Brady Hardiman (Chair), Jake Hosen, Zhao Ma, Wendy Mayer, Brooke McWherter, Bee Redfield, Indira Paudel, Taylor Stinchcomb, Mitch Zischke
For member contact information see our FNR Directory

If you have any questions or want to join us or if you want more information, please contact us at hardimanb@purdue.edu.