How to Make Mistakes: Teachings from Nature on Imperfection, Accountability, and Social Justice - 2021

Outdoor Leadership Course

How to Make Mistakes: Teachings from Nature on Imperfection, Accountability, and Social Justice

A non-introductory level workshop series on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) facilitated by Bam Mendiola (they/them).

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers course.

Workshop Description

This workshop is for people who make mistakes - for those of us who want to do better but aren’t always sure how. In this three-part series, Bam will discuss common and unintentional mistakes that we make as “allies” and what we can learn (and un-learn) from them. We will also discuss ways to prevent some mistakes and practice these skills in breakout groups. Bam will also share the lessons they have learned from the natural world and how we can deepen our relationships with nature.  

  • Part 1: Understanding and Mapping the Ultimate Landscape: Ourselves
  • Part 2: I Think I Messed Up: Now What?
  • Part 3: Outdoor Scenarios: What Imperfect & Accountable Leadership Feels Like in the Real World

This workshop is best suited for people who:

  • Have attended diversity trainings and/or have an existing social justice framework
  • Are comfortable discussing topics that include white and male privilege
  • Are committed to centering the most impacted members of our space and community

Help Us Make this Course More Affirming and Effective:

You will receive a short survey after registering and we ask for your participation and questions. 

Multi-Week Series

This course consists of three consecutive webinars. Participants are asked to attend all sessions.

  • Dates: February 24, March 10, March 24
  • Time: 6:30-8:30pm


Bam Mendiola (they/them) is an award-winning anti-racism facilitator who has facilitated hundreds of trainings and made countless mistakes. Their work is informed by their lived experience as a non-binary person of color and has been featured by NBC, REI Co-Op, and Mountainfilm Festival. Bam is the recipient of the Outdoor Industry Associations’ Together We Are A Force Award and lives on Duwamish territory with their four-legged teacher, a ragdoll cat named Mitzi.


This course will be delivered online as a series of Zoom meetings. You will need access to a computer or other device (preferably with a speaker and camera) and high-speed internet. Each session will be a mix of presentation and conversation, and participants are expected to engage with the presenter and with one another via chat and/or audio. Information about how to log-on to the Zoom meeting will be sent the day of the first session.

Cover photo: Bam Mendiola (they/them)

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment
  • Access to a computer or other device, preferably with speaker and camera
  • High-speed internet
Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.