Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and the Arizona Trail Association

“The Arizona Trail Association is committed to providing informed, authentic leadership for creating cultural equity, promoting diversity and inclusion within the organization and on the trail.”

We at the ATA are committed to modeling diversity and inclusion for the entire outdoor industry of the nonprofit sector, and to maintaining an inclusive environment with equitable treatment for all.  

The Arizona Trail Association (ATA) is a diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization where all employees and volunteers, whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or ability, feels valued and respected. We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach and provide equal opportunity for employment and volunteerism in all of our programs and worksites. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and heard.


Since 1994, our vision has been “a continuous, non-motorized path from Mexico to Utah connecting deserts, mountains, canyons, forests, communities, and people.” We think we can be a more unifying force when we truly listen to input and feedback from the community. With that in mind, we ask members and users to let us know what might better serve all individuals in making our National Scenic Trail even more of a shared treasure.


To provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity, the Arizona Trail Association strives to:

  • See diversity, equity and inclusion as connected to our mission and critical to ensure the well-being of our staff, volunteers and the communities we serve.
  • Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and continually update and report on organizational progress.
  • Explore potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.
  • Advocate for and support board-level thinking about how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work, and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.
  • Help to challenge assumptions about what it takes to be a strong leader within our organization, and who is well-positioned to provide leadership.
  • Practice and encourage transparent communication in all interactions.
  • Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our board, staff, committees, and advisory council.
  • Lead with respect and tolerance. We expect all employees and volunteer leaders to embrace this ethic and to express it in workplace interactions and through everyday practices.


Commitments and Action Items

The Arizona Trail Association abides by the following action items to help promote diversity and inclusion: 

  • Pursue cultural competency throughout our organization by creating substantive learning opportunities and formal, transparent policies.
  • Generate and aggregate quantitative and qualitative research related to equity to make incremental, measurable progress toward the visibility of our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
  • Improve our cultural leadership pipeline by creating and supporting programs and policies that foster leadership that reflects the diversity of Arizona and America.
  • Pool resources and expand offerings for underrepresented constituents by connecting with other outdoor, recreational and conservation organizations  committed to diversity and inclusion efforts.
  • Develop and present sessions on diversity, equity and inclusion to provide information and resources internally, and to members, the trail community, and the outdoor industry. 
  • Develop a system for being more intentional and conscious of bias during the hiring, promoting, training, or evaluating process.
  • Advocate for public and private-sector policies that promote diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Challenge systems and policies that create inequity, oppression and disparity.

Into the Future

As an organization, we will continue to evaluate our systems and programs to identify strategies to meet our commitments, to provide authentic and informed leadership, to create cultural equity, promote diversity, and welcome inclusion within the organization and on the trail. We value transparency, welcome your input, and will continue to communicate about our plans and progress within the community.

Share your thoughts and experiences on DEI with the ATA


If you would like to engage with us in our DEI work, work with us to share your story with the AZT community or are interested in partnering with the ATA please feel to reach out to us at ata@aztrail.org