Working together to build an organizational culture that values inclusivity and diversity is key to our work at the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR). In January 2023, the BWSR Board approved the agency's first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan to guide BWSR in implementing DEI strategies and values across our agency. The plan will provide a framework for being intentional and thoughtful as we further integrate DEI into BWSR's work.
The DEI definitions used in this DEI Plan have been adopted from the definitions used by the State of Minnesota’s Office of Inclusion.
- Diversity is all the ways that people are different and the same at the individual and group levels. Diversity is expressed in many dimensions, including but not limited to race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, language, culture, national origin, religious beliefs, identity, age, invisible or visible disability status, political perspective, and other dimensions.
- Equity is ensuring everyone has what they need to be successful. It requires commitment to strategic priorities, resources, respect, and consideration, as well as ongoing action and assessment of progress toward achieving goals.
- Accessibility means everyone along the continuum of human ability and experience has access to the same tools and content.
- Inclusion is the intentional, ongoing effort to ensure that diverse individuals fully participate in all aspects of organizational work, including decision making processes.
- Diverse Populations include racial and ethnic communities, including American Indians, LGBTQI communities, disability status, veterans, geographic diversity within and across Minnesota, including Greater Minnesota, urban/metro.
Strategic Priority Areas for DEI Implementation at BWSR
Priority Area 1: Culture
Outcome: The culture at BWSR supports DEI values, promotes open communication, safety, continuous improvement and transparency.
Priority Area 2: Implementation Support
Outcome: Dedicated positions, committees and workgroups (DEI structures) work together to provide coordination, guidance, leadership and collaboration to execute the DEI Plan.
Priority Area 3: Learning and Development
Outcome: Sustained organizational growth, DEI integration and dedicated learning and development results in an environment committed to the exchange of ideas and continuous learning.
Priority Area 4: Partnerships
Outcome: New partnerships and support to existing partners expand BWSR’s work with diverse populations (Ex., LGU’s, landowners, local partners, NGO’s, Tribal governments, BIPOC communities, renters, non-traditional farmers, other underrepresented groups).
Priority Area 5: Programs, Policies and Practices
Outcome: BWSR’s programs, policies, and practices provide equitable resources and opportunities in consideration of state DEI policies.
View the 2023-2025 BWSR DEI Plan (pdf) summary for more background, details and actions