In late September 2020, Pemi’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee sent surveys designed specifically for each constituency within our camp family. The DEI Committee completed its compilation and analysis of its survey and passed it along to the Board of Directors. The data provided by the 239 respondents—alumni, staff, parents, and campers—was overwhelmingly positive, confirming Pemi’s longstanding success in creating a warm and supportive community. The value of the survey, however, was to look beyond the straight statistics summarizing the views of a largely homogenous and satisfied population and try to hear the perspectives of the Pemi community as a whole, including those outside that homogenous group. Mixed in with the praise and gratitude were numerous suggestions for making Pemi a more diverse and inclusive camp.
In pursuit of that goal, the DEI Committee made a series of recommendations for the Board to consider. At its March 2, 2021 meeting, the Board instituted four action groups to review the recommendations, prioritize them, and move towards their implementation as appropriate and practicable. All of the action groups have now met, and they began to present their proposals for moving forward at the Board’s April 6 meeting. For more details on the ongoing process, we refer you to an interim report:
It is clear that the joint work of the DEI Committee, the Board of Directors, and the leadership team at Pemi is and will continue to be integral to our community’s efforts towards fulfilling our mission, both on Lower Baker Pond and in the larger world. We embrace opportunities to ask ourselves and the larger Pemi family if we really are the camp we want and need to be, and to plan and implement improvements as we endeavor to be a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive place for all.
We look forward to this journey, to the feedback and suggestions our constituency offers, and to the opportunity to continue to grow, thrive, and improve as an educational organization and as a camp family. We will provide regular updates as the process evolves. Meanwhile, many thanks to all those who responded to the survey and to the members of the DEI Committee. This work will help our estimable institution grow with the times, in line with the vision of Pemi’s founders.