Dear Bird Advocate,
This edition of our Audubon California’s newsletter is intentionally focused on highlighting content from Black birders, scientists, and nature lovers. We are highlighting this content because the suspicion, exclusion and even violence that too many Black Americans experience while going about their daily lives is directly linked to the hostility they often encounter in the outdoor spaces that should represent a peaceful escape.
The events of past week, cast a sharp relief on the fact that for Black Americans, so many day-to-day experiences can be unsafe and unwelcoming. Audubon and our conservation community have a critical responsibility, one that we have not historically addressed, to actively create an anti-racist society. To protect birds and their habitats, Audubon has a responsibility to ensure that the outdoors – and the joy of birds – are safe and welcoming for all people.
Please spend time with these articles and take time to listen to the conversations linked here. If you have not already, including CEO David Yarnold’s statement. And, join us as we build a more inclusive community where all Californians can belong in this work.
Here are some resources we encourage you to watch and read to learn more:
- 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
- Journalist Brentin Mock’s interview on birding as a Black man
- National Audubon Society’s statement on the threats NYC Audubon board member Christian Cooper received Central Park’s Ramble