June 12, 2020
by a portion of Point Blue Staff
“Do the best you can, until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou
Today, as we have seen more and more voices continuing to powerfully rise up and call for racial justice, our staff want to join their voices as one in support. After an initial message from our CEO on May 29th, this current message emerged from our staff. In turn, we invited all 160 of our staff across the organization to participate in the crafting of these words of support.
As a conservation science organization we have a fundamental belief in inquiry and learning and this is the approach we take to everything we do, including how we incorporate the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion. We recognize that the field of conservation and natural resources has a history that is unfortunately one of segregation, influenced by systemic racism in our society, resulting in a field that is not inclusive or equitable and thus does not reflect and include the diversity of people and experiences in our country. Black, Indigenous and people of color have historically been excluded from participating in the development and benefit sharing of conservation actions.
As an organization, and as individuals, we are committed to continuing to learn, to grow, and to change the field of conservation. We stand in solidarity with those working to end violence against Black people and injustice towards all impacted communities.
As part of our five-year strategic plan (2019-24) we have prioritized diversity, equity and inclusion, within the organization and across all of our programs. We recognize that this is a journey of discovery, and as part of our strategic plan we have undertaken the following:
- In 2019, we began a multiyear plan of training regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion across all levels of the organization including our leadership and Board of Directors.
- We are examining the systemic barriers across our organization and searching for ways to help broaden opportunities within the conservation science field, such as our recruitment and training for interns.
- We are engaging with more impacted communities to build authentic relationships and create equitable conservation solutions.
We ask that you join us on our journey of listening and learning. If you have thoughts and resources you’d like to share about how the field of conservation can work to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope you’ll help us take action to build together a better future for conservation, and for a more just and equitable society.