GGAS’s Statement on Civil and Environmental Justice

June 3, 2020

The events of the past few weeks – the continuing, horrific violence against Black and Brown people, the crushing weight of the pandemic, and the economic insecurities entangled in this sickness – have made one thing abundantly clear: we have a moral obligation to make our world a better, and safer place, for everyone. If we believe that birding and nature are for all people, we must set into motion and continue the difficult work of nurturing positive change within ourselves and within our communities. COVID-19 is not the only virus infecting our lives, endangering our health, and threatening our spirits. The disease that is racism harms us too. The disease that is racism kills Black and Brown people in America.

Golden Gate Audubon Society has been enriched by our inclusive and diverse community of birders, environmentalists, and conservationists of all colors and backgrounds. As we work for environmental justice and protection, we aim to build a society that values all. We do this through our programs that benefit diverse and traditionally underserved communities; we do this through our habitat restoration efforts to make the land healthy for humans and birds alike; and we do this through our actions to stand up for what we believe is right. We know we have more work to do, in our organization and in our communities. We are committed to continuing to strive for equality, especially through the lens of environmental justice and climate change, two issues that intersect and disproportionately affect communities of color.

Black lives matter. We are horrified by the racist treatment Black birders such as Christian Cooper have endured at the hands of individuals who seek to oppress or who act in harmful ways due to ingrained prejudices. We support Black birders and all birders of color. We understand many aggressions are not documented for the world to see. We believe their experiences. As a result, we will continue to make GGAS a safe place for all people by upholding the highest standards of engagement with our community, with nature, and with each other.

We are grieving over the travesty of senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, Dion Johnson, Tony McDade, and countless others. GGAS stands with the commitment to defend Black lives and achieve racial justice. As an organization that cherishes our diverse community, GGAS will always strive to equitably and inclusively share our love of birds and wildlife with every person who seeks the peaceful and enriching gift of nature.

In solidarity,
The Golden Gate Audubon Society Board and Staff