In Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Strong Organizations & Leaders

Inclusive Communications for the Water Movement

With the generous support of the Fresh Sound Foundation, we’re excited to announce our first ever Inclusive Communications guide. We’ve created this resource to provide both communications and accessibility guidance to the network.

As more and more outreach and education moves online, it’s critical to ensure that our communications practices are accessible, ethical, and welcoming to all users and audiences – but sometimes, it’s also hard to know where to begin. In our 2022 State of the Network Survey, where we asked the network to identify areas we can provide more support, 90% of respondents shared that they need more communications support, and 84% of respondents told us they need more Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) support. This guide is our first step in delivering this specific support—and combining these two important topics for river, justice, and water organizations—to the network.

Inside, you’ll find tips and best practices about a wide range of topics, from digital accessibility to ethical storytelling to inclusive language. Some of these tips are direct recommendations from leaders speaking on these topics; others are observations of what’s been working for organizations similar to groups in the network. We took a wide-sweeping approach and researched communications practices via a variety of platforms, creators, and resources, all of which are credited in the guide.

These topics and tips are not exhaustive; instead, we hope they can provide a starting point for those seeking to evaluate and strengthen their communications approaches. We recognize that there are many knowledgeable, experienced leaders and creators speaking more deeply on the topics covered here, and we encourage you to explore the many resources we referenced and drew from while putting this guide together.

And finally, we recognize that the tips outlined here will inevitably need updating as we improve our collective understanding of inclusive and accessible communications practices. We enthusiastically invite further dialogue and encourage you to reach out to us with any additional questions, tips, or feedback! 

You can also watch a recording of our recent webinar diving into some of the topics covered in our guide, which we co-hosted with the Water Hub.

  • Michael Anderson

    Very much looking forward to exploring this toolkit and attending the upcoming webinar. Thank you, all!

    -Michael Anderson, Director of Outreach and Education, Mississippi River Network

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