Naples Zoo is excited to share the launch of the Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion (DEAI) Committee to create positive change and build a more inclusive culture at the Zoo and in our community! DEAI initiative was set forth by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) in 2020 as a fifth promise to their strategic plan. We believe that these qualities foster valuable talents, perspectives, and personality traits that make our Zoo a stronger, more welcoming organization. Additionally, AZA updated an existing accreditation standard to help strengthen their commitment to DEAI goals and initiatives.
We recommend watching this video that AZA produced talking about DEAI and what it means to the AZA community: https://youtu.be/m3gUFhVJItA .
The DEAI Committee is responsible for creating and following a written DEAI plan for the Zoo that is proactive and transparent. This plan will set forth measurable goals and the committee will assess them for progress and enhanced DEAI throughout the Zoo on an annual basis. The plan and the committee will work to build connections between the Zoo’s mission and diversity. The three main focuses are staff, paid and unpaid, guests/audience, and supplier/vendor diversity.
Employees, volunteers and guests of all races, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, exceptionalities, ages and nationalities have the right to feel safe, respected and valued. We reject racism, religious discrimination, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, ageism and xenophobia. Simply stated, we will not tolerate acts of hate. We acknowledge the complex nature of this journey, and we are committed to demonstrating continuous self-reflection, engaging in courageous conversations and devoting the resources required to create transformative change both in our Zoo and beyond. To learn more about AZA’s position, promise, and statement, please visit https://www.aza.org/diversity-equity-access-inclusion.
Since the launch of the DEAI committee, Naples Zoo has become a proud member of the Naples Pride Business Alliance. We will be a vendor at the "Naples Pride Fest" on Saturday July 9, 2022 ( https://www.naplespride.org/pride-2022 ), and we will host the first ever Pride Day at the Zoo on Sunday June 26, 2022 ( https://www.napleszoo.org/default.aspx?p=137470&evtid=2457947:6/26/2022 )
We hope you can join in on the fun, and we look forward to hosting more DEIA celebrations in the future. To learn more about Naples Pride, please visit https://www.naplespride.org