Our Statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

The Blue Ridge Audubon Chapter believes that everyone has the right to experience the outdoors and enjoy birds without concern for safety or prejudice. We stand against all forms of discrimination and are committed to providing an inclusive, accessible, safe and welcoming environment for everyone interested in birds and nature.

In large part, Blue Ridge Audubon has only just begun on our journey to becoming a more diverse, inclusive and welcoming chapter. We formed an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee in 2019 to focus our commitment and begin to achieve our goals. There is much to learn and a lot to do to show up in our community in ways that advance equity. 

 

A racial reckoning happened in the summer of 2020 when we learned that our namesake, Elisha Mitchell, was a racist and a proponent of slavery. As an organization that values diversity in birds and people, our Board of Directors voted to change our name because the old name didn’t honor or foster human diversity. The new name is a small but important step to help make the birding community a welcoming place for all.

 

Our Board and our EDI Committee are committed to taking action. We will examine all of our work, activities and interactions with a racial equity lens, and aim to include and celebrate our diverse community. We're working on several initiatives, including: making accessibility improvements at the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary, ....

Are you interested in getting involved in our work to become a more diverse, inclusive and welcoming chapter? Do you have ideas on how we can continue to grow? Click here to fill out our volunteer survey or email us at blueridgeaudubon@gmail.com.