|What brings us together at Audubon is our love of birds and how they connect us to the natural world. For Audubon and its members and supporters, protecting and promoting the natural world transcends political, cultural, and social boundaries. However, incidences of recent weeks have demonstrated that challenges - racial biases and prejudices - are intertwined in our efforts to create outdoor spaces that are safe and welcoming to all, and it is imperative that that we act to change this.|
This week, we invite everyone to participate in the inaugural Black Birders Week, organized by a community of African American birders, scientists, and nature enthusiasts, including Tykee James, a former Audubon Pennsylvania/Alliance for Watershed Education Fellow who is now a member of National Audubon Society’s Government Relations team in Washington, DC.
For Audubon Pennsylvania, this focus on ensuring a safe natural environment for everyone has always been critical, as demonstrated through our successful outreach to and engagement with communities across the Commonwealth, especially the traditionally under-served communities surrounding our centers in Philadelphia and Montgomery County. This work is ongoing, as Audubon Pennsylvania is deeply committed to carrying out our mission through mutual respect and inclusivity.
As Audubon has recently demonstrated through its groundbreaking report, Survival By Degrees, climate change is the most serious threat faced by birds. Research also shows that climate change will have disproportionately negative impact on low-income communities and communities of color. Audubon Pennsylvania believes that every person has a role to play in humanity's shared responsibility to protect nature for the next generation. We exist to spark a passion in everyone, and to provide all people with information and tools they can use to make a difference, now and throughout their lives.
Birds rely on all of us.
Over these past long and trying months of staying at home in response to the pandemic, one silver lining has been the noticeable and measurable positive impact on birds and nature. With no disregard for the lives lost and the economic pain inflicted by the crisis, the question does arise: are we glimpsing what a brighter future might look like with cleaner skies, clearer waters, and reduced emissions? We may not have the answers, but we have new evidence that our actions do make a difference.
As we move forward to shape a healthier future for birds, we also strive to promote a healthier future for people, of all backgrounds, lifestyles, and perspectives as well. We are stronger together.
Thank you for all you do for a more just world, for our fellow human beings, and for the birds we cherish.
Executive Director, Audubon Pennsylvania
Vice President, National Audubon Society