New York, NY – The Board of Administrators of the Nationwide Audubon Society (NAS) as we speak introduced that it has determined to retain the identify of the group, after a prolonged course of to look at its identify in gentle of the private historical past of its namesake, John James Audubon. The choice was made taking into account many elements, 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 stay its values, NAS introduced a brand new $25 million dedication to fund the enlargement of Fairness, Range, Inclusion, and Belonging (EDIB) particular work in each inner 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, range, inclusion, and belonging. The Board’s determination allows the group to focus its time, assets, and capability on the group’s new Strategic Plan and placing its EDIB commitments into motion.
The Board’s naming determination follows a strong and inclusive analysis course of, which spanned greater than 12 months and included enter from greater than 2,300 individuals 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 individuals throughout the nation with a concentrate on reaching individuals of shade and youthful individuals. 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 techniques concerning the well being of our planet, and they’re telling us that birds—and our planet—are in disaster. Primarily based on the important threats to birds that NAS should urgently tackle and the necessity to stay a non-partisan power for conservation, the Board decided that retaining the identify would allow NAS to direct key assets and focus in the direction of enacting the group’s mission.
Susan Bell, Chair of the Nationwide Audubon Society’s Board of Administrators, commented, “This is a vital time for birds and our shared planet, and this determination positions the group to focus our fairness, range, inclusion, and belonging efforts and our conservation work the place it’s most urgently wanted. After cautious consideration, the Board elected to retain our identify. The identify has come to signify a lot greater than the work of 1 individual, 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 numerous 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 corporation and as a conservation motion. The urgency of our local weather and biodiversity crises compels us to marshal our assets towards the areas of biggest impression for birds and folks. This implies centering fairness, range, inclusion, and belonging values into our programmatic work, in addition to our inner operations, and implementing our new five-year Strategic Plan. Whatever the identify we use, this group should and can tackle the inequalities and injustices which have traditionally existed throughout the conservation motion. I’m assured that, like birds, the Audubon of tomorrow generally is a highly effective unifier and power for conservation.”
The Nationwide Audubon Society was based in 1905 and named after John James Audubon, fifty years after his dying. Audubon was a naturalist and illustrator whose work was an essential contribution to the sphere of ornithology within the mid-Nineteenth century. He was additionally an enslaver, whose racism and dangerous attitudes towards Black and Indigenous individuals are actually 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 have been inherent within the conservation motion.
With its elevated funding for EDIB work, NAS will proceed to broaden efforts to co-develop options with communities of shade hit hardest by the impacts of local weather change, develop instructional packages that attain college students of shade via its campus chapters centered on HBCU and MSI establishments, spend money on facilities that serve numerous and concrete communities via conservation, science, and group programming, and improve the variety 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 variety of its Administrators, persevering with EDIB training, 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, as we speak and tomorrow. Audubon works all through the Americas utilizing science, advocacy, training, and on-the-ground conservation. State packages, nature facilities, chapters, and companions give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches tens of millions of individuals every year to tell, encourage, and unite numerous communities in conservation motion. A nonprofit conservation group since 1905, Audubon believes in a world wherein individuals and wildlife thrive. Be taught extra at www.audubon.org and on Fb, Twitter, and Instagram @audubonsociety.