We at CAZCA have taken the time to pause and reflect on the shocking events of the past week. We acknowledge the historic injustices from times past, even within the conservation movement. We believe it’s important not only to support and stand in solidarity with Black communities but to also do what is in our power to help chip away at systemic racism, injustice and intolerance in the United States.
How do we ensure we are allies and champions for equitable and safe access to nature for all?
It is our vision to have a thriving regional system of parks and preserves that support healthy ecosystems and also provide beautiful, safe open spaces for all communities. We cannot live this reality until all people, regardless of skin color, feel safe, valued and protected wherever they are.
CAZCA is committed to making nature and the outdoors more accessible and connected. As a regional collaborative organization, we recognize we must play an active role in the conversation and action necessary to eliminate racism and racial inequities in our community. Furthermore, we understand that it is by ensuring all people can experience and share in our human connection to nature that we build up the stewards and conservationists of tomorrow.
We recognize we do not have all the answers, but we are committed to this vision.
Some ways to support:
2. Learn more
– The racist roots of the conservation movement
– Why every Environmentalist should be Anti-Racist
– Black Bodies, Green Spaces
– Photographing nature while black
– Racial and Ethnic Differences in Connectedness to Nature and Landscape Preferences Among College Students
– Intersectional Environmentalism
There is much to learn about how we can do better. We will continue to engage in meaningful dialogue, to learn, and grow in our inclusion and diversity in the outdoors. Join us and stand in solidarity with Black and African American communities and do our part as allies in the fight against oppression.
Aireona Raschke and Annia Quiroz
CAZCA Program Director & CAZCA Engagement Coordinator
*Edited 9/10/20 to include Intersectional Environmentalism resource link.