Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin is the co-founder of The Avarna Group, which helps organizations navigate issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. A diversity and inclusion expert who previously served as Director of People & Culture at the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition, Aparna was the Diversity and Inclusion Manager and a wilderness educator at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Lander, WY. Aparna joined NOLS in 2010 after a 10-year career in law. At NOLS, she focused on broadening the organization’s diversity and inclusion initiatives and has trained hundreds of people in the outdoor industry on inclusion and cultural competency. In 2011, she spearheaded the historic project, Expedition Denali, which saw the first all-African American climbing team attempt to summit the peak.
Aparna believes believes that sustainability cannot be addressed in a vacuum; people are part of every environmental equation. Aparna has devoted the last five years to helping outdoor and environmental organizations attract and engage a diverse and inclusive base of people and cultivate inclusive cultures. Tailoring standard corporate diversity training to be more relevant and engaging to the social and public sector, Aparna has facilitated workshops for over 2,000 outdoor educators, nonprofit leaders, outdoor industry professionals, land managers, and conservationists. She has also spearheaded projects that encourage public dialogue about diversity and inclusion in the outdoors.
Aparna will facilitate the Cultural Relevancy Workshop on Thursday, Oct. 13, at 8 AM as part of the SHIFT Summit.