|Over the past thirteen months, we have all been through a lot. Audubon has as well. The waters, as they say, have been choppy and the headwinds strong. As many of you may be aware, on May 3rd, Audubon’s National board released an independent report that it had commissioned to assess our organizational culture. Sadly, this report substantiated allegations of an internal culture of retaliation, fear and antagonism toward women and people of color and a tolerance of bullying throughout the network. (You can find national board chair Maggie Walker’s message here along with a copy of the report: Audubon Board Addresses Workplace Culture).|
Put simply, this culture is unacceptable. The board and Audubon leadership—myself included—know that we have much work to do to create an organization where all feel welcome and all feel valued. The report gives us the opportunity to turn toward healing, honest reflection, and powerful transformation. Staff here in the Mid-Atlantic are already taking important steps to intentionally define the values that will guide our work together: What purpose and passions do we bring to our work to protect birds? How do we support each other? What must we do to ensure that every person finds joy in their work and knows that what they do every day matters?
I have observed that we are a steadfast and profoundly optimistic flock. And, just as the birds we love make their way through the challenges of a difficult journey, so too will we. We will carry on with the work that connects us and continue supporting each other so that our important mission to protect birds stays at the forefront of all we do.
To that point, you’ll read below about the exciting work that took place this spring to protect critical coastal and fresh water habitats that birds need to nest and to survive. These efforts include on-the-ground conservation projects, policy advocacy efforts and raising public awareness about the steps individuals can take to nurture birds. This three-pronged approach sets our work apart and, I believe, extends our mission further than any one strategy alone would.
Thank you for flying along with us and your fierce dedication to Audubon’s important mission.
Executive Director, Audubon Mid-Atlantic
Vice President, National Audubon Society