At ABC, we work together for birds. We envision a future in which an abundant dawn chorus renews us. Where we find freedom in the arc of a gull's flight. Where the iridescence of a hummingbird's wing stops us in our tracks, filling us with wonder. Where the cooing mourning dove on our windowsill brings us comfort, the voice of a dear friend. Where clean water and air and soil are the norm and not the exception. Where restoration is more common than degradation. Where abundant food and safe shelter help both birds and people to thrive. Where we are comforted in times of grief by tending our connections to nature and our connections to each other. Where we celebrate biological and cultural diversity, grounded in the understanding that we need each other to survive.
We celebrate the diversity of birds and the diversity of all who cherish and conserve birds. We are inspired by our partners and our staff, and we intend to work more explicitly toward advancing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI).
1) Our staff are the heart and soul of our organization. Advancing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion means investing in our staff and in their ideas. We learn collectively, create more opportunities for professional growth, address any existing inequities, and work toward creating an even greater sense of belonging. In recruiting new staff, we are reaching beyond our traditional networks. We will report our progress over time. Our outward-facing work will also be coordinated by our staff, primarily through our cross-institutional JEDI group, which meets monthly.
2) We already carry out our bird conservation work through partnerships with people from governments and nonprofits throughout the Americas. We will, with their permission, share more of their stories and perspectives. We are also establishing and nurturing new partnerships that help to expand birding and bird conservation to more people.
3) We will work to reach the next generation of birders and bird conservationists through investments in school-based environmental education, mentoring, and widening pathways into birding and bird conservation careers.
4) Over the long term, we will more explicitly address environmental injustice – the uneven distribution of the negative impacts of environmental change. Doing so might mean supporting the rights of indigenous people in managing their own lands for bird conservation and related benefits, providing urban children with greater access to nature and to environmental education, or pushing for policy change around pesticide production and use. Each of these actions directly benefits both birds and people. We recognize that whatever we work on requires substantive input from the people most impacted by our projects. We will advocate for creating change collectively. Our Conservation and Justice program is a first step toward our goal.
We are all different and we all conceptualize justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in various ways. At ABC, we intend to move forward with respect and kindness, to grow and learn together with our community. We will add new initiatives, partnerships, and approaches over time.
What should we invest in to ensure that we support each other and flourish together? Please send us your ideas and stories!
For more information, please contact Naamal De Silva, Chief Diversity Officer, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
American Bird Conservancy launched our new Conservation and Justice Fellowship program to expand the intersections between biodiversity conservation and environmental justice. In 2022, we offered eight paid fellowships focused on storytelling for individuals with varied perspectives, personal and professional backgrounds, and areas of expertise. Learn more about our Conservation and Justice Fellowship program.
Conservation and Justice Fellows: Announcing the Inaugural Cohort of ABC's Conservation and Justice Fellowship
2020 Message from ABC's President: Welcoming All to Enjoy Birds
Our Partners: Meet a Few Bird Conservation Superstars
Embracing the Role of Bird Ambassadors
(Banner photo: ABC staff and partners from our Latin American bird reserve network, April 2019. Photo by Daniel J. Lebbin.)