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2014 05 28 Wave Hill Flower Garden credit Wave Hill 12

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Access

Our Commitment

Wave Hill is committed to creating and sustaining systems and policies that reinforce diversity, inclusion, and equity within our organization. This work is central to Wave Hill’s mission to foster connections to the natural world and improve the quality of life for all visitors, volunteers, supporters and staff. Although Wave Hill occupies what was once a private estate, it was founded and created as a public garden. Inclusion was part of the founders' thinking from the beginning, ensuring free access to the grounds and providing environmental education opportunities for Bronx youth. Those founding principles have continued to develop at Wave Hill, especially in education and the arts. However, this is an on-going imperative and there is more work to be done.

Wave Hill acknowledges that although museums and gardens have varied individual histories, our colonial origins and traditional context have influenced our structures and policies. This can lead to systems that privilege the experiences of some communities over others. Such imbalances can result in the loss of powerful and knowledgeable voices in these fields. Knowing this, Wave Hill looks to the natural world in all its diversity to inform active practices of inclusion and equity. Biodiversity and ecological connections strengthen natural systems. In the same way, acknowledging and supporting the diverse breadth of human experiences strengthens our community and improves the overall garden experience for everyone.

Values & Actions

Diversity: Diversity embraces nurturing and celebrating the richness of people and their communities. It includes understanding the systems and practices that privilege some and disadvantage others. The work of diversity is to correct these systems and uphold the interdependence between people, culture and nature. Wave Hill is committed to welcoming and uplifting underrepresented people through staffing, programming, outreach and long-term planning.

Equity: Equity involves navigating changing relationships and processes to meet the needs of each individual. Equity asks that we look at people in their entirety and the overarching systems within which they exist. To achieve equity, we must build a network of mutual care, respect and support that emphasizes listening and action. Wave Hill is working to improve our communication and feedback processes so that we may better meet the needs of staff and visitors alike.

Inclusion: Inclusion means creating a place and culture where every person is comfortable and able to engage as their full selves. Inclusion requires dismantling physical and cultural barriers that prevent people from feeling fully valued. We are committed to removing these barriers so that all visitors, volunteers, board and staff are welcomed as active members of the Wave Hill community.

Access: Access is determined by the conditions that make it easy or difficult for people to approach, enter and experience a place. Creating access means responding to the range of needs of community members. We are continually working to break down the barriers that hinder people from building rich and fulfilling connections to Wave Hill. We are committed to providing accommodations, and re-thinking spaces and programs so that people of all abilities, life stages, backgrounds and identities may have meaningful and fulfilling experiences.