Black Lives Matter

To the ANCA community and beyond,

Let us not be ambiguous: Black lives matter, yet we all are part of systems that, in practice, do not agree with that most basic of statements.

The recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and others have shed light on issues of tragic violence in policing and in our communities, but the violence does not end there. We also see violence in our society’s systems that cannot be easily captured in a single video, and we recognize that such systemic racism continues to shape all aspects of our lives.

Those of us who have the ability to speak out must do it. As nature education leaders we have the responsibility to speak out against injustice and to speak up for justice — but we also must do more. We need to reinforce our words with actions to ensure that our organizations and the outdoor spaces we provide are safe and accessible for all. We must actively work to dismantle the systemic white supremacy that devalues Black lives, as well as those of other marginalized groups, within our own structures and communities.

As an association, ANCA is dedicated to helping our members in this work, and to making our own organizational changes. We will continue to share resources and services so that our profession may foster a more inclusive and equitable environment, as well as promote and amplify the work of professionals who are Black, Indigenous, or people of color in the environmental field.

Recognizing that systems of racism are not new issues — and have been built over centuries — we know that there are no easy solutions, and that confronting these systems can feel uncomfortable for the people who have benefited from them. However uncomfortable, we encourage all of our members to take both short-term actions in direct response to the current protests, and long-term actions that will endure beyond however long the protests last. If you are seeking ideas on how your organization can act, we recommend OF/BY/FOR ALL’s Framework for Action in Response to Moments of Outrage & Crisis.

To the Black members of our communities who are sharing your experiences and speaking out against these injustices: We hear you. We see you. We are listening.

 

 

ANCA has seen a number of its members release statements in response to the recent racist killings and incidents. Here are some examples that may inform how your own organization can respond:

We also want to highlight Outdoor Afro's Facebook response to Christian Cooper's experience, and encourage you to visit the Outdoor Afro website to see their work on inspiring Black connections and leadership in nature.