Working for Equity: Beth Anne Booth
Hospitality is Rooted in Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility
IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility) is an evolving committee where different voices are heard. Departmental representatives gather in a safe, neutral zone to address important topics related to inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility. The IDEA committee embraces a culture where all people are welcomed, valued and appreciated.
Beth Anne Booth, Guest Engagement Specialist
This is my first year at Lewis Ginter, and my focus is guest engagement, which means enhancing your visitor experience every time you drop by.
From the moment you’re greeted by the admissions staff, I look for ways to help you make meaningful connections through hospitality, interpretation, or perhaps a guided tour. For example, when a low vision support group recently visited, staff members worked together to customize a tour. We focused on touch, smell and sound. For a special takeaway, the visitors used harvested herbs and made a sensory sachet.
I’m also the lead facilitator for IDEA. We don’t have all the answers, but we are transparent, accepting and understanding. We’re committed to more than good intentions; we want to make a real impact. That happens through honest communication, education and a willingness to embrace new ideas. Open dialogue encourages us to not just see things through a different lens but to live by them. IDEA also guides us in becoming a more culturally competent staff, so more aware and understanding of the audiences we reach. We want to provide guests a safe, friendly environment where they experience equity and empathy for all.
Nature provides many solutions that we’re seeking. Plants have healing benefits, and our world needs healing. Multiple species coexist in harmony and adapt to changing conditions, reminding us to monitor and perhaps adjust our own perceptions in support of one another. Nature also offers beneficial connections. That’s why Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is intentional in providing access to people of all abilities, races, cultures and backgrounds – at the Garden and through community outreach. We continue to explore ways to not only welcome but celebrate all people.