Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

DISCLAIMER: AORE recognizes and understands that each organization's needs are unique; information found on this page is not meant to be an exhaustive list. We encourage members to ALWAYS do their due diligence when taking in information and/or following recommendations and guidelines from both public and private entities. Inclusion on this page should not be considered an endorsement by AORE.

AORE‘s Inclusive Value

We welcome diversity, aim to be accessible and inclusive, and work to remove barriers to participation. We strive to be an organization that is reflective of the current and expanding community.

AORE, as an association, as well as the volunteer and paid individuals who guide the association, are evaluating and reconciling our role(s) in perpetuating and dismantling systems of oppression that exist within our Association and our industry.

We have been working toward greater diversity, equity, and inclusion both internally, as an organization, and externally - how our members can help facilitate change in their programs and practices. Inside AORE, we have sought to make sure we promote involvement, innovation, and expanded access to leadership opportunities that maximize engagement across identity groups and professional levels. Outside of our association, we are advocating on diversity-related public policy issues that affect AORE member programs‘ operations. We provide tools and resources to cultivate a culture of inclusiveness, collaborative practice, and innovation in the outdoor recreation and education field.

What role AORE can play for our members:  AORE aims to support members and member programs to leverage their positions, programs, and roles to foster inclusivity both where and for who they serve.

What role AORE can play as an association: AORE is continually working on inclusion and internal change in behaviors, policies, and practices.


AORE is working hard on inclusion and internal change in behaviors, policies, and practices.

One of the things AORE has learned is that membership and leadership has not always had a good understanding of the difference in governance and operations. Board, staff and volunteers have historically misunderstood responsibility and authority. We now know that Board of Directors is responsible for determining the Strategic Framework and the staff are responsible for programs and operations.

The significance for this, in governance, is that AORE is working hard to ensure that anyone who wishes to participate will find the opportunity to do so and contribute in the ways that works best for them as a volunteer, and in alignment with AORE‘s mission.

We‘ve revisited our systems and structures 

  • We‘ve assessed the process and bias in BOD and committee recruitment; we now can say we have a standard process and clear expectations and role delineations for all positions

  • We have a transparent application process to serve as a volunteer

  • We do annual BOD assessments for performance and ability to coach/connect with members 

  • We do an annual BOD profiles (composition of the BOD) and identify skills needed to govern in alignment with the strategic framework and we look to identify gaps and make intentional invitations to serve

  • We‘ve routinely invested in consultants for continued learning (governance, DE&I, bylaws)

Learn more about our governance HERE.


Task Force
Task forces are working groups composed of current association members in good standing or designated individuals committed to a specific, time-bound task assigned by the board of directors.  Task force members are selected on the demonstrated skills and expertise as defined in the specific task force position description.

The Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (JEDI) Task Force will recommend a strategy to improve the association’s policies, leadership structure, and engagement systems in an effort to create an equitable member experience and encourage a diverse and inclusive outdoor industry.


AORE aims to support members and member programs to leverage their positions, programs, and roles to foster inclusivity both where and for who they serve.

We understand that many members may not know where to start with DE&I work, and others are along their journey but are hitting barriers in their understanding or ability to move forward. We want to support all in this work and understand that DE&I are not easy topics and that there is always hesitation about saying "the wrong thing".  Sometimes, learning is messy, and we want to create space for that without potentially doing harm to members.

If you have a question and are seeking an answer, we have created a form to submit your question anonymously here as an alternative to the message board.  A member from the DE&I committee will receive your question and can bring it forward to the message boards in a way where all members can benefit from learning.

We have an assortment of resources available to all those interested throughout this current page, and an additional selection of materials accessible to AORE Members.These tools and resources are ever growing and are being provided to help support your work and leadership both as individuals and as program directors. 

On July 17, 2020, members joined leadership to learn more about how AORE has been working towards improving Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - from an internal and external perspective. Members can view the Association Chat by logging in and accessing the Online Learning area

AORE followed that event by hosting it’s first specific DE&I listening session on July 29, 2020.  Conversations between members, BOD attendees and the executive director focused on the need to help AORE members in whatever stage of their learning relative to DE&I, find support and resources. Extensive notes were taken throughout the call and AORE invites those that are interested to review the notes. [Read the session notes here.]


Professional, Student Professional, Organization and Vendor memberships have access to post and read the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion message board. They can utilize this valuable resource to share findings, ask questions, or learn more on how to improve their leadership skills. To ensure you are subscribed to this message board, log in to the member‘s area to verify.


We believe that everyone in the outdoor recreation and education industry, including you, is important and should have the opportunity to attend the AORE Annual Conference. We have compiled a variety of resources to help reduce conference related funding requests, fundraising, payment plans and scholarship information.


The following organizations all work in the outdoor space but range widely in their focus: from meeting the needs of identified communities or issues, to supporting specific adventure sports, to addressing environmental concerns.  Who is missing?  Let us know and we can update!

In addition to supporting financially, there are other ways to support nonprofits including:

  • Following and interacting with the organizations on social media

  • Volunteering, assisting, supporting in person

  • Donating time/gear/supplies 

  • Spreading the word and sharing the mission

Diversify Outdoors

Latino Outdoors

Melanin Base Camp

Native Women Wilderness

Out There Adventures

Outdoor Afro

Outdoor Asian

Inclusive Outdoors Project


*AORE webinar access requires a login but NOT a membership. Non-members can still create or access a login to view some of AORE's free or low-cost webinar recordings.




Although AORE may not be the loudest voice in the diversity, equity and inclusion movement, AORE has been working diligently for several years to create inclusive spaces.  In 2015 AORE created a DE&I Task Force (now Committee) and the Association developed a Diversity Statement.  Since that time we have come to learn:

  • The BOD and staff have come to learn that for AORE to be more inclusive, that we must no longer silo diversity, equity, and inclusion work in a statement or expect a committee to shoulder this work.  

  • DE&I work is on-going and never ending

  • To do this work it needs to be a core value - as identified in our strategic framework, deliberated and formulated by the BOD with the support of La Piana, the industry, the role and play AORE is choosing to play.

  • DE&I is bigger than a checklist, tokenism, statements - it is about the systems and structures

  • We know there are barriers for participation in outdoor pursuits, but believe AORE member programs can and should be agents for change.  We see the potential for AORE member programs - be it based in geographic location or focused on serving a certain demographic or affinity group can help change the future of recreation in the united states.  

  • We believe that if members are open and have access of tools, resources, and training to improve the inclusiveness of their programming, teaching, facilitation that collectively more diverse people will be introduced to outdoor recreation and education.

  • With more diverse people participating in member programs, there can be a shift for increased and expanded diverse program leadership (trip staff, students, climbing wall, etc).  This in turn will help open leadership opportunities and ideally professional advancement which AORE will see in future volunteers and expanding diverse membership.