The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, as well as the attack on Christian Cooper while he was birding in Central Park, have shone a light on the tremendous work we must do in this country to end racism in all of its forms.
As a conservation organization, Western Rivers Conservancy is not on the sidelines of this work. Our mission is to conserve the great rivers of the West, and our efforts will remain incomplete until everyone feels the same sense of welcome and well-being on our rivers and in the great outdoors. Understanding the roles we play in this effort—individually, organizationally and as a community—will require introspection, listening, discomfort and change.
In the weeks and months ahead, we will work to identify and address racism within our organization, within the context of our work and within the conservation community as a whole. We will reach out to conservation and outdoor organizations active in racial equity and explore ways we can work together. We will continue our efforts to improve diversity, equity and inclusion within our own organization while we strive to understand what other steps we can take to advance racial equity.
The murder of George Floyd was the thunderclap in a long-brewing storm. The result is a raging current of demand for cultural and institutional change. It is undeniable that if we are to achieve true racial equity, if we are to end systemic racism and all forms of violence against Black, Indigenous and People of Color, we must join that current and push downstream together.
At Western Rivers Conservancy, we are committed to embracing diversity and rejecting racism as we work to save the great rivers of the West.