The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore strives to embrace and cultivate diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion for its workforce, its visitors, its volunteers, its audiences, and its vendors.

We embrace the dynamic aspects that make us all unique. The Zoo is committed to educating its visitors and the community at large about biodiversity while fostering an appreciation for the richness and complexity of life of this planet. A diverse, equitable, accessible, and inclusive Zoo allows for thoughtful, nuanced, and positive engagement with our many thousands of visitors and outreach audiences, our city, and our neighbors in surrounding communities.

The Zoo’s commitment to diversity is a core value, and strengthens our mission as we endeavor to serve our communities by engaging people with the wonder of the living world through personal encounters that foster lifelong harmonious relationships with nature and our commitment to conservation. We are dedicated to realizing our mission through best practices of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion in every possible respect.

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore accepts the following definitions of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion. The definitions, developed by the Zoo’s internal DEAI Committee, are enhancements of the American Psychological Association definitions as they pertain to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.


Refers to personal characteristics unique to a person; involving the representation or composition of various social identity groups in a work group, organization, or community. The focus is on social identities that correspond to societal differences in power and privilege, and thus to the marginalization of some groups based on specific attributes—e.g., race, age, education, marital status, veteran status, family dynamic, ethnicity, culture, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, spirituality, physical or neuro-disability, national origin, immigration status, and language. There is a recognition that people have multiple identities and that social identities are intersectional and have different salience and impact in different contexts.


Providing resources according to the need to help diverse populations achieve their highest state of health and other functioning. Equity is an ongoing process of assessing needs, correcting historical inequities, and creating conditions for optimal outcomes by members of all social identity groups.


The prevention of discrimination and the efforts of eliminating barriers that would otherwise contribute to inequitable opportunities to join and be a part of a work group, organization, or community. Read more about accessibility at the Zoo.


An environment that offers respect, affirmation, celebration, and appreciation of different approaches, styles, perspectives, and experiences, thus allowing all individuals to bring in their whole selves (and all of their identities) and to demonstrate their strengths and capacity.