Diversity, equity, and inclusion Director’s message

March 2021

I’ve been reflecting a lot recently about diversity, equity, and inclusion, and our journey towards realizing our shared values and to ensure that Washington’s outdoors are welcoming to all and that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is an inclusive workplace.   

In a recent social media post meant to celebrate both the contribution of diverse communities and our agency’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we received disrespectful comments from the public.  Our efforts to recognize diverse communities that make contributions to WDFW unfortunately generated hurtful, ugly comments and placed our staff member and workplace at risk of being in an unsafe environment.  Many followers of our social media account rallied and offered positive, heart-warming messages (which was so appreciated and welcomed).  

Nonetheless, the negative comments made their impact, and its sting was real.  Its impact was felt by all of us at WDFW.   

We’re going to continue to celebrate and increase our diversity, while taking steps to ensure staff safety.  And here’s the bottom line.  We have zero tolerance for racism.  Period. 

Our culture at WDFW is one that welcomes and supports Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This “Bottom Line” applies whether it is within our ranks or in our interactions with the public. 

There is a place for everyone to enjoy Washington’s outdoors, and there is a place for everyone at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.