Photograph: Caroline Samson/Audubon Pictures Awards
New York, NY – The Board of Administrators of the Nationwide Audubon Society (NAS) at this time introduced that it has determined to retain the title of the group, after a prolonged course of to look at its title in mild of the non-public historical past of its namesake, John James Audubon. The choice was made bearing in mind many components, together with the complexity of John James Audubon’s legacy and the way the choice would impression NAS’s mission to guard birds and the locations they want lengthy into the long run. The group will proceed its non-partisan dedication to habitat conservation and local weather motion, its agenda-setting coverage work, and community-building efforts to advance its mission.
Because the group seems to maximise its impression and reside its values, NAS introduced a brand new $25 million dedication to fund the enlargement of Fairness, Variety, Inclusion, and Belonging (EDIB) particular work in each inside and conservation initiatives over the subsequent 5 years. NAS acknowledges that its most crucial EDIB work lies in empowering and resourcing work to actualize our values of fairness, variety, inclusion, and belonging. The Board’s resolution allows the group to focus its time, sources, and capability on the group’s new Strategic Plan and placing its EDIB commitments into motion.
The Board’s naming resolution follows a strong and inclusive analysis course of, which spanned greater than 12 months and included enter from greater than 2,300 folks from throughout the NAS community and past—together with survey responses from greater than 1,700 NAS workers, members, volunteers, donors, chapters, campus chapter members, and companions and greater than 600 folks throughout the nation with a deal with reaching folks of shade and youthful folks. NAS additionally commissioned historic analysis that examined John James Audubon’s life, views, and the way they did—and didn’t—replicate his time.
North America has misplaced three billion birds since 1970. Birds act as early-warning programs in regards to the well being of our planet, and they’re telling us that birds—and our planet—are in disaster. Based mostly on the important threats to birds that NAS should urgently handle and the necessity to stay a non-partisan pressure for conservation, the Board decided that retaining the title would allow NAS to direct key sources and focus in direction of enacting the group’s mission.
Susan Bell, Chair of the Nationwide Audubon Society’s Board of Administrators, commented, “This is a crucial time for birds and our shared planet, and this resolution positions the group to focus our fairness, variety, inclusion, and belonging efforts and our conservation work the place it’s most urgently wanted. After cautious consideration, the Board elected to retain our title. The title has come to characterize a lot greater than the work of 1 particular person, however a broader love of birds and nature, and a non-partisan method to conservation. We should reckon with the racist legacy of John James Audubon and embody our EDIB values in all that we do. In doing so, we’ll make sure that Audubon stands for an inclusive future wherein we unite various coalitions to guard birds and the locations they want.”
Dr. Elizabeth Grey, CEO of the Nationwide Audubon Society, commented, “We’re at a pivotal second as a company and as a conservation motion. The urgency of our local weather and biodiversity crises compels us to marshal our sources towards the areas of biggest impression for birds and other people. This implies centering fairness, variety, inclusion, and belonging values into our programmatic work, in addition to our inside operations, and implementing our new five-year Strategic Plan. Whatever the title we use, this group should and can handle the inequalities and injustices which have traditionally existed throughout the conservation motion. I’m assured that, like birds, the Audubon of tomorrow could be a highly effective unifier and pressure for conservation.”
The Nationwide Audubon Society was based in 1905 and named after John James Audubon, fifty years after his loss of life. Audubon was a naturalist and illustrator whose work was an vital contribution to the sector of ornithology within the mid-Nineteenth century. He was additionally an enslaver, whose racism and dangerous attitudes towards Black and Indigenous folks at the moment are well-understood. NAS has dedicated to making sure that it continues to advertise an consciousness and understanding of the problematic legacy of John James Audubon, the person, and the inequalities which were inherent within the conservation motion.
With its elevated funding for EDIB work, NAS will proceed to develop efforts to co-develop options with communities of shade hit hardest by the impacts of local weather change, develop academic packages that attain college students of shade by means of its campus chapters targeted on HBCU and MSI establishments, spend money on facilities that serve various and concrete communities by means of conservation, science, and group programming, and enhance the range of NAS workers.
Along with these key actions that the group will implement, the Board has dedicated to formalizing its EDIB values in its work, together with growing the range of its Administrators, persevering with EDIB schooling, and collaborating with the brand new Chief EDIB Officer on a Board committee.
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The Nationwide Audubon Society protects birds and the locations they want, at this time and tomorrow. Audubon works all through the Americas utilizing science, advocacy, schooling, and on-the-ground conservation. State packages, nature facilities, chapters, and companions give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches hundreds of thousands of individuals every year to tell, encourage, and unite various communities in conservation motion. A nonprofit conservation group since 1905, Audubon believes in a world wherein folks and wildlife thrive. Be taught extra at www.audubon.org and on Fb, Twitter, and Instagram @audubonsociety.