Dear Audubon New Mexico Supporters,
Like many folks across the country and around the world, we at Audubon New Mexico, are working to find our way in addressing injustices with roots much deeper than the current events.
We stand in solidarity with the Black community against centuries of violence, police brutality, systemic racism, and injustice. We disavow ALL forms of racism and prejudice in our office spaces and at the Randall Davey Audubon Center & Sanctuary. We unequivocally condemn racist sentiments, behavior, and systems that undermine the humanity, rights, and freedom of Black people.
The conservation movement has a long history of excluding, ignoring, and minimizing people of color in the fight for the environment. Our desire is to listen and respond accordingly, acknowledging that our silence makes us complicit. We are taking meaningful action, starting with staff education and sharing of resources, and will continue, always, to look for opportunities to improve our ways of being in the world and in our work with the hope of lasting and equitable change
We have much work to do. But we are committed to doing it. In our conservation efforts, we are ensuring that the outdoors – and the joy of birds – is safe, welcoming, and accessible for all. It also means that equity and environmental justice need to be at the forefront of our conservation work.
I hope you’ll join us in promoting and participating in the inaugural Black Birders Week. A group of Black scientists, birders, and outdoor explorers organized the campaign to celebrate Black people in the outdoors and birders specifically. The National Audubon Society is supporting the initiative by co-hosting the #BirdingWhileBlack livestream conversation on Facebook on Thursday at 5pm MT, 7 pm ET. We encourage you to follow the hashtags on social media and amplify Black voices throughout the week.
Our staff are reading White Fragility and engaging in conversation. We also look forward to a discussion after reading How to Be an Antiracist. We encourage you to educate yourselves and besides these two books, offer the following resources:
- Dr. J. Drew Lanham’s keynote address from the 2017 Audubon Convention
- Jason Ward’s essay on how the woods can be perilous for Black people and his informative YouTube series
- Audubon CEO David Yarnold’s message to Audubon staff after a weekend of turmoil and heartbreak in the wake of George Floyd’s murder
- National Audubon Society’s statement on the incident in Central Park’s Ramble
- Your Silence Will Not Protect You by Audre Lord
- Black Nature, edited by Camille Dungy
Executive Director, Audubon New Mexico