What prompted the Board’s course of to think about a reputation change?
The Nationwide Audubon Society was based in 1905 and named after John James Audubon, 50 years after his loss of life. Audubon was a naturalist and illustrator whose work was an essential contribution to the sphere of ornithology within the mid-Nineteenth century. Whereas there may be little question of the impression of his life’s work and fervour for birds, he was additionally an enslaver, whose racism and dangerous attitudes towards Black and Indigenous folks are actually well-understood. As we speak, greater than 100 years later, we’re referred to as to re-examine John James Audubon’s legacy by a unique lens.
Given his advanced legacy, the Board initiated a course of to think about whether or not the group ought to change its title.
Why did the Board determine to maintain the title?
Primarily based on the crucial threats to birds that Audubon should urgently handle and the necessity to stay a non-partisan power for conservation, the Board decided that retaining the title would allow NAS to direct key assets and focus in direction of enacting the group’s mission. The Board’s resolution allows the group to focus its time, assets, and capability on the group’s new Strategic Plan and placing its fairness, range, inclusion, and belonging (EDIB) commitments into motion.
What was the method for reaching this resolution?
The Board performed a radical 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 exterior people throughout the nation with a concentrate on 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—mirror his time.
Will this modification Audubon’s mission?
No. Our mission stays unchanged: defending birds and the locations they want, as we speak and tomorrow. We will proceed its non-partisan dedication to habitat conservation and local weather motion, its agenda-setting coverage work, and its community-building efforts to advance its mission.
We intend to develop additional our conservation attain to raised have interaction and serve folks and communities whose pursuits have traditionally not been meaningfully thought of.
How will the group acknowledge John James Audubon’s legacy shifting ahead?
We’ll proceed selling 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.
What else are you doing to develop your fairness, range, inclusion, and belonging (EDIB) work as a corporation?
Our new Strategic Plan has been developed with EDIB as a key driver.
Along with EDIB conservation ideas that can information its programmatic work, we introduced a brand new $25 million dedication to fund the growth of EDIB-specific work in each inside and conservation initiatives over the subsequent 5 years, together with:
- Scaling efforts to co-develop options with communities of shade hit hardest by the impacts of local weather change and biodiversity loss.
- Rising academic packages that attain college students of shade by our campus neighborhood chapters centered on HBCU / MSI establishments.
- Investing in Conservation Motion Facilities that serve numerous, city communities by conservation, science, and neighborhood programming.
- Growing the variety of NAS workers and Board of Administrators.
- Offering workers coaching to implement EDIB conservation ideas in our work.
The Board has additionally dedicated to formalizing its EDIB values in its work, together with persevering with EDIB training and collaborating with the brand new Chief EDIB Officer on a Board committee.
We consider that specializing in these efforts each inside and exterior will drive significant impression in opposition to our dedication to fostering an equitable and inclusive future for all.
Will Audubon Chapters additionally preserve Audubon of their names?
The Audubon community contains greater than 450 chapters and 160 Campus Chapters, that are an important a part of what makes NAS a powerful and impactful power for conservation. As unbiased entities, some chapters have already introduced their intention to alter their title, whereas others could elect to maintain Audubon of their title. No matter their selections, we plan to work carefully with chapter leaders to maneuver ahead as one unified neighborhood.