The events of this past week have been devastating, heartbreaking, infuriating and a culmination of decades of racism and privilege in this country.
We must and will stand with the Black community, not only in a time of crisis, but at all times. Our country, our organization and each of us must stand up to racism, oppression, and injustice wherever it exists.
Never have we felt greater despair than during the recent week of pain. And at the same time we have seen glimmers of hope; large and peaceful protests, police marching in solidarity and kneeling with protesters and volunteers cleaning destroyed neighborhoods.
This hateful violence is not a new story — it is older than the nation. Too little has changed since then.
While it is key to acknowledge the historic oppression of Black people and our collective role, it is equally important for ACE to fight against their continued oppression by working towards a more inclusive and equitable conservation workforce, where all people feel safe and respected. As we have confronted harassment–head on, gloves off and unfiltered, we will confront racism and inequity. We must.
I know that some of you are expecting a social media blitz and are angry that this has ‘taken so long’. I get it, but we have to be more than a statement or a hashtag. Too many times over the years I have seen the statements, the links, the facebook posts and yet nothing changes. People and organizations post and act like that is the solution.
ACE and other corps play a unique role in shaping future leaders in conservation. Within ACE we have an opportunity to help grow a more diverse workforce for the entire conservation field. In order to do so we must be truly inclusive and take a hard look at ourselves. This will not happen overnight and it will not be easy. We may ultimately make a small dent in a very large problem. But it is dent worth making
There is so much going on right now, please take a moment and take care of each other.