“It recommitted itself to diversity, equity and inclusion by developing a strategic plan in the wake of COVID and George Floyd’s death”
Progressive academia seems to believe that absolutely everything needs a committed diversity staffer.
The College Fix reports:
UMich botanical garden employs DEI manager, hosts ‘confronting racism’ training
University of Michigan’s Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum is committed to diversity – but not simply the diversity of the plants and animals that call the facility home.
It also employs a DEI manager and actively works to combat racism within its 700 acres of gardens and natural preserves to make up for its “participation in systemic injustices.”
Efforts have included unconscious bias trainings, live-streamed DEI events, food justice and seed rematriation programs, and DEI workshops covering topics like “confronting racism, cross-cultural difference, and bystander intervention,” according to university memos from 2020 and 2022.
In September 2021 the Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum hired a full-time DEI manager, Ivana Lopez Espinosa, for close to $60,000 per year, thus adding to the University of Michigan’s expansive DEI bureaucracy.
The Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum, or MBGNA, boasts extensive grounds, walking trails and a gift shop, as well as a variety of programming for children and adults. It employs about 40 people as well as volunteers.
It recommitted itself to diversity, equity and inclusion by developing a strategic plan in the wake of COVID and George Floyd’s death, gardens and arboretum Director Tony Kolenic stated in a letter posted online.
“MBGNA is committed to catalyzing equity and justice, and will continue to reckon with itself and the history of living collections to do so,” Kolenic stated. “This strategic plan is our road map for how that commitment is turned into action; how MBGNA will continue to thoroughly examine and combat its participation in systemic injustices, and how we will co-create new ways forward with historically excluded communities through the years ahead.”
The efforts toward DEI in the gardens dates back to at least 2016, however, as revealed by the pair of documents from 2020 and 2022. According to the 2022 document, a DEI plan was launched in 2016 to facilitate “efforts for internal learning, reflection, and action,” as well as outreach and the development of new relationships and community-based projects.
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