Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation
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2020 CERF Webinar: Recruiting & Hiring for Equity
Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PDT
Category: CERF Events & Webinars

Recruiting & Hiring for Equity

About the webinar

In this webinar, the Avarna Group will lead attendees through how to build inclusion and equity into recruitment and hiring efforts, by stepping through a version of a free toolkit (available online here ) that is customized to the conservation and environmental sector. In this webinar we discuss equitable recruitment efforts (including internship and bridge programs), crafting inclusive job descriptions, building rubrics for screening and interviewing candidates, interviewing in an equitable manner, and mitigating bias in selecting final candidates for the position. 

Watch the Recording

This webinar has passed. If you are a member of CERF, you can access this past webinar in our Webinar Library.


Aparna Rajagopal, J.D. (she/her)

Aparna Rajagopal is a former engineer and lawyer who shifted gears nearly a decade ago to supporting outdoor and environmental organizations with their JEDI efforts. Over the years she has facilitated workshops on JEDI topics for thousands of outdoor educators, nonprofit leaders, outdoor industry professionals, land managers, conservation grantors, natural resources and environmental scholars, and conservationists. As a thought leader in the JEDI space, she has helped organizations that work on engagement, connection, caring, and management of “more than human nature” evolve to actively having difficult conversations about topics such as bias, privilege, oppression, equity, justice, and accomplices.

She and her work have been featured in California Lawyer magazine, Backpacker magazine, Outside magazine, Sierra magazine, the Adventure Gap book, SNEWS (among others), and the She Explores and Outdoor Voices podcasts. Aparna has contributed to the Harvard Business Review, Earth Island Journal, the Journal of Leisure Research, and National Geographic Magazine’s adventure blog. She has also spearheaded projects that amplify stories and connections of black, indigenous, and people of color in nature, including Expedition Denali: Inspiring Diversity in the Outdoors. Most recently, Aparna co-founded and has served as director for the People of the Global Majority in the Outdoors, Nature, and the Environment Summit (

Ava Holliday, M.A. (she/her)

Ava Holliday is a founding partner of the Avarna Group and has devoted the last eight years to researching and working in this field. As a graduate student at the University of Washington in the Department of Anthropology, Ava was able to deepen her understanding of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts and challenges in environmentalism, conservation, and outdoor recreation.

At UW, she taught courses covering topics such as power, identity, environmentalism, health, and wilderness. She left graduate school to put theory into practice at the Avarna Group. She has also supported the LGBTQ Outdoor Summit and serves on the Next 100 Coalition. Throughout her academic and professional career, Ava has supported thousands of people and hundreds of organizations in service of deepening understanding of and cultivating skills to address oppression in environmentalism, conservation, and outdoor education.