Photographed, Melinda Poser DEI Manager, Janette Chien DEI Director, and Jenna Bowman Tribal Affairs Director

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Learn more about what our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion division is working on.

Diversity Equity and Inclusion

State Parks Diversity Equity and Inclusion

To Washington State Parks, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion means that the outdoors is for everyone. We believe that State parks connect all Washingtonians to their diverse natural and cultural heritage and that everyone should have access to memorable recreational and educational experiences that enhance their lives.

This requires removing barriers of access to the outdoors for historically underserved communities, building sustainable community relationships and ensuring our parks are welcoming and inclusive to all visitors.

Why Diversity, Equity and Inclusion matters at State Parks

We recognize the historical inequities in our public lands. As stewards of these lands, we can work to address them. Our vision is that State Parks employees embody the values of inclusion and a commitment to equity in all aspects of our work.

What State Parks is doing to advance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

State Parks DEI program is implementing both internal and external initiatives. We are working in close collaboration with our Pro-Equity Antiracist (PEAR) Team, Tribal Relations program, community partners and divisional leaders across the agency to lay the foundation for long term, systemic and sustainable change.

Current Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work

Image above shows a diagram with four components of DEI work: Workplace Culture, Learning Opportunity, Community Engagement and Equity Frameworks. These four components have arrows connecting them to indicate that these components inform one another, and that the work is relational and iterative in nature.

Workplace culture

Workplace culture is about creating a welcoming and inclusive place to work. At State Parks, we facilitate various employee support groups, including one for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and one for 2LGBTQ+ (2-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and more) employees. We have State Parks representatives for each of the statewide Business Resource Groups (BRG). We curate monthly DEI updates and resources, organize DEI events and support a range of recruitment and retention strategies to attract a diverse workforce.

Learning opportunities 

Learning opportunities are provided to our staff and external Friends and partners. Our introductory DEI course “Unpacking DEI: What’s Next for Me?” is facilitated with all employees and we continue to expand knowledge and capacity to lead DEI from all levels of the organization, including our Executive Leadership Team.

Equity frameworks

Equity frameworks include the Pro-Equity Anti Racism (PEAR) Team. This component of our work also includes ongoing assessment, internal policy review and cross-division projects.

Community engagement

Community engagement is all about visitor access and ensuring quality visitor experiences. We focus on building strong community partnerships and engaging community leaders as thought partners in our projects and decision-making. Some of our collaborative partners include Department of Services for the Blind, Team Naturaleza, and Outdoor Asian. If you are interested in partnering, reach out to us at

Pro-Equity Anti-Racism (PEAR) work

In 2022, Governor Inslee directed government agencies to implement Executive Order 22-04: Implementing the Washington State Pro-Equity Anti-Racism (PEAR) Plan & Playbook. The Washington State Office of Equity supports this work.

State Parks has established a PEAR team of 14 community members and 10 staff. Our PEAR team will guide the development of our PEAR Plan and prioritize actions to advance DEI across State Parks. The team meets monthly. If you would like to receive PEAR updates or get a link to observe a meeting, please email us at

PEAR Team Meeting Notes