Statement of Diversity, Inclusion, and Non-Discrimination Policy

2017, revised August 11, 2018

KNPS members botanizing at Konza Research Station,
Geary County, KS. Photographer: Matthew Richter.

The Kansas Native Plant Society (KNPS) is about people and plants. By actively contributing to publicly available nature education, conservation, and the expansion of scientific knowledge of the natural world, KNPS firmly commits to helping people appreciate the diverse variety of Kansas’s native plants. In her first message as KNPS President, Phyllis Scherich wrote in the 2015 Autumn Newsletter: “I view Kansas Native Plant Society as a vibrant (full of energy and enthusiasm) and dynamic organization. Each member has something special to contribute to its success.” She added, “Being able to interact and share with so many knowledgeable members elevates my understanding of the plants.”

We prize the enthusiasm, practical knowledge, and expertise of our members. We do our utmost to expand the diversity of our membership, our board of directors, and our choice of other organizations and coalitions as partners. Moreover, we recognize that conservation of plant diversity is best advanced by contributions of people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, beliefs, and cultures.

It is our firm policy that we invite members of the public to accept membership in KNPS without limitation on race, religion, color, national origin, gender identity and gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, and other characteristics protected by law. Indeed, access to the diversity of human experience through inclusion and outreach will help us celebrate our native plant heritage and preserve that heritage for future generations. We will serve a broader community and attract some of the most dedicated supporters of conservation and education as members and leaders.

The ever-increasing human diversity of our world today reminds us, as we pursue KNPS’s mission of inclusion, that we must connect with a diverse range of stakeholders. Participation in KNPS must be broad if we are to draw from that rich palette of perspectives and approaches needed to enjoy fully the natural world and to meet current and emerging challenges impacting native plants and their habitats, and impacting our society.

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