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Audubon started with a dream and with determination. Americans across the eastern U.S, mostly women, believed they could raise public awareness about the slaughter of birds for the feathers that were used to decorate hats.
Those women prevailed and, today, it’s our turn to represent Audubon’s values of compassion, care and respect. When Chief Network Officer David Ringer sent out a note after the Charlottesville tragedy, he received some pushback about why a bird conservation NGO would weigh in on issues like tolerance, justice and community standards.
It’s because we’ve always belonged in that conversation. Many of Audubon’s 463 chapters and 41 nature centers are community hubs and we cherish that role. From creating community gardens in Birmingham, Alabama, to creating a nature center where 50,000 Texans experience Dallas’ Trinity Forest every year, we stand for values that leave us with clear consciences and pride in our communities. We don’t just talk community building and inclusion: we practice it. We also know that, with a centrist base, Audubon is uniquely positioned to find common ground when so many would choose to build fences.
We’re also committed to building a conservation movement for years to come and our commitment to equity and diversity is clear and unequivocal. We see a bright future for an Audubon that embraces America’s rich and diverse communities.
So, to the DREAMers among us: you are family and we have your back. The same goes for our colleagues who face intimidation or the loss of liberties — anywhere — because of any form of discrimination. Birds don’t stop at borders and neither does Audubon’s network of partnerships across the hemisphere. We will do everything we can to support you during this uncertain and confusing time.
As an employer, Audubon adheres to the best HR practices. We will monitor the news about DACA and advocate for the innocent 850,000 potential environmentalists, scientists, policy experts and bird-lovers who have stepped forward to declare themselves DREAMers.
At Audubon, we’re all dreamers. We dream of a world where climate change doesn’t threaten birds and people; where water will sustain biodiversity; where coastlines create nurseries and safe passage for birds; and of bird-friendly cities where people and birds thrive together.
If you have any questions or just want to talk, here are some folks with whom you can talk. Feel free to reach out to me, too.
· David J. Ringer, Chief Network Officer: email@example.com
· Deeohn Ferris, Vice President, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is Audubon’s statement on equity, diversity, and inclusion (along with a video), which you may want to review yourselves and share with others today and in the days ahead: http://www.audubon.org/about/equity-diversity-and-inclusion-audubon
President & CEO
National Audubon Society