Queta Gonzalez believes that our differences make us stronger. A deep resonance with family, community, learning, service, and compassion underpin both her life and work. Her commitment to social, environmental, and economic justice began in her youth and continues to grow and evolve.
Queta is an adventurer who follows her passions. Her experiences run wide and deep, amounting to a litany of professional roles: assistant curator of an invertebrate museum; experiential and wilderness-based environmental educator; outward-bound course director and instructor; recreation planner; youth advocate and educator; gang rescue team; adolescent health care advocate and educator; food security advocate; trainer; as well serving in numerous team and organizational leadership roles. Two common threads connecting her diverse experiences revolve around systems of community and ecology. The advancement of diverse, inclusive, and equitable environments and a deep connection to rivers, lands, and wilderness characterize Queta’s life and work.
Queta is the National Programs Director for the Portland-based Center for Diversity & the Environment (CDE), where her work includes design and delivery of strategic engagement sessions, organizational trainings, facilitation of both the Environment 2042 cohort and Exploring Power, Privilege, and Tools for Change retreats, design and coordination of Equity Audits, leadership coaching, and organizational consulting.
Influenced by her mom, Queta has been volunteering (and doing weekly chores) since elementary school and currently volunteers as a board member for Community Cycling Center, is an Oregon Outdoor Education Coalition steering team member, and volunteers in various episodic activities. She is eternally grateful for and enriched by supportive and loving family and friends. Queta lives in Portland with her amazing partner and bossy cat.
CDE’s program will target environmental educators and the broader environmental movement, encompassing environmental justice, conservation, climate change, outdoor recreation, and more. CDE intends to provide relevant leadership development to teams and organizations relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion; strengthen environmental educators’ adaptability to changing demographics, needs, and learning environment; provide additional resource material; improve systems that impact diverse groups; and strengthen the environmental movement.
In an effort to introduce an online interface into their work, CDE is exploring opportunities to extend their Environment 2042 cohort engagement. The E42 cohort cultivates Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) change agents and leaders in the environmental movement. These yearlong cohorts are largely in-person; multi-day retreats and daylong sessions alternating with conference call check-ins. Phase 1 of the project will build on the cohort’s shared base of knowledge and experiences. The first approach to re-engage the cohort will be using short thought-provoking or inspiring videos, followed by webinars or other online discussions. CDE hopes to strengthen EE’s ability to diversify ranks, be more aware when working across difference, and be more relevant to the future of EE. In large part, CDE’s work is to create a strong cadre of EE leaders.
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