Just like diverse plants can’t be expected to all thrive in the same growing conditions, we can’t expect diversity to flourish without examining the “growing conditions” of our institutional environments at all levels. This session will consider topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) by “digging” into the social ecosystems within our institutions.

Delve into the history and current contexts that shape the knowledge, language, structure, and responsibility of public gardens. We will offer tools for dealing with situations that can make visitors and staff feel unwelcome and explore how garden professionals define and care for their communities. Leaving the workshop, participants will feel prepared, equipped, and committed to making institutional change.

Presenters: M. Parsons, Santa Fe Botanical Garden, Santa Fe, New Mexico; T. Segel and T. Qiu, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; E. Strauss, Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota; S. Bhatt, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Brooklyn, New York