Introducing The Mountaineers Equity & Inclusion Leader Toolkit

We are excited to share our new Equity & Inclusion Leader Toolkit. Written entirely by Mountaineers volunteers, this resource is designed to help you foster a culture of belonging in your activities and courses.
Siana Wong Siana Wong
Super Volunteer & Former E&I Committee Chair
January 10, 2023
Introducing The Mountaineers Equity & Inclusion Leader Toolkit
Mount Shuksan. Photo by Tara Salisbury.

Over the past 18 months, Mountaineers volunteers have been working to create an Equity and Inclusion (E&I) Leader Toolkit for our community. The E&I Leader Toolkit is designed to help you (our volunteer leaders) foster a culture of belonging in your courses and activities. As part of our organizational commitment to equity and inclusion, we are working to create a Mountaineers where everyone can feel belonging. We hope this toolkit is a helpful resource for the many volunteers requesting more E&I support.

Access E&I Leader Toolkit

Each year, hundreds of volunteers give thousands of hours leading trips, teaching classes, hosting events, and conducting the various Mountaineers activities that make up the heart of our organization. People engage with The Mountaineers for different reasons - to take a course, to learn new skills, to meet new adventure partners - but what largely keeps people here is  belonging to a community that shares common passions for learning, gaining knowledge, and creating experiences with one another. Our community of passionate volunteers and members is what makes The Mountaineers unique.

We give our precious time to these endeavors because they are part of our core values. Inherent in our core value of Community is our aspiration: We provide opportunities for all - a diverse and inclusive outdoors inspires unity, respect, and passion for the places we love.

We strive to connect people, especially those who have been historically excluded from outdoor recreation, with the transformative power of the natural world. We believe all people should have equitable access to nature and the physical and mental health benefits it can provide. This commitment benefits not just our community, but also the environment around us. Our organizational mission is inherently dependent on the lands on which we recreate. 

To fulfill our mission and core values, we are working to embed equitable and inclusive practices within all levels and facets of our organization, including our leadership, policies, programs, activities, stories, and community education. This is no small task. As we work to create a culture of belonging, volunteers and members have frequently asked what they can do to help. 

To support our volunteers, the Equity & Inclusion Committee has advised the development of an Equity & Inclusion Leader Toolkit. The work was led by a group of committee members and other volunteer leaders with input provided from the broader Mountaineers community during various listening sessions. The toolkit was created by Mountaineers for Mountaineers.

The Equity & Inclusion Leader Toolkit is a collection of reading, resources, and reflection. Its purpose is to educate and empower volunteers who are looking for ways to integrate equity and inclusion into their Mountaineers activities or who are simply interested in learning more. It provides volunteers with tools and ideas to think through their activity from start to finish through a lens of equity and inclusion, without having to change the goals of their activity. The toolkit includes basic tips, practical examples, customizable templates, and resources to learn more about a given topic, and topics range from simple tips to create a great activity listing to deeper areas of reflection on things like bystander intervention.

Because the range of activities that volunteers lead is so broad, the toolkit is meant to be universal, not focused on details of any one particular activity. The E&I Leader Toolkit also includes a sample presentation you can share in a course lecture about the history and importance of our E&I work.

To access the Equity & Inclusion Leader Toolkit, please visit the new toolkit page located in Leader Resources.

Access E&I Leader Toolkit

The toolkit is neither a mandate nor a manual to instruct volunteers how they should behave or run their activities. It is not a checklist of things to do in order to be an inclusive leader or create an inclusive activity nor is it a complete educational resource on the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The toolkit is simply meant to help individuals think about ideas from an equity and inclusion perspective and direct them toward resources that may be helpful and relevant to them as they plan and lead their next activity. Although the toolkit is geared towards Mountaineers volunteers, anyone may find the toolkit useful.

As a reflection of our organizational journey of learning, the Equity & Inclusion Leader Toolkit is meant to be a living document, and it may be updated periodically to include new information or resources. If you have feedback related to the toolkit, or suggestions for how we can make improvements, please email

Thank you for your ongoing support in creating a Mountaineers where everyone has access to outdoor skills and community.  

Learn More

A good first step in supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts is to become educated: seek training, read books and articles, and watch educational documentaries and videos. Below are relevant links to more general information and resources on the topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Mountaineers leadership, and Mountaineers programs that help make outdoor recreation more accessible. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resource Libraries

Mountaineers Leadership Resources

Mountaineers Programs

  • Scholarships: Scholarship programs available through The Mountaineers
  • Gear Library: Community resource to make Mountaineers courses, personal adventures, and group outings more sustainable and accessible for anyone interested in spending time outside
  • Olympia Library: Available to all members, the collection includes books, maps, bear and critter resistant containers, and more. The library covers a variety of topics, including books published by Mountaineers Books.

Add a comment

Log in to add comments.