Black Lives Matter, a nationwide call for justice and equality, was sparked by recently documented evidence of ongoing exclusion, discrimination and violence enacted by systemic racism and environmental injustice. Right now, those who have not experienced such events firsthand are being called upon to learn, share, and take both personal and collective action to create a just and equitable society.
While it is not within the power of any single organization to eliminate racism, it is the obligation of every organization to recognize that it operates within a system that, by design, reproduces and perpetuates advantages for white people and the oppression of people of color.
The killing of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, the verbal attack on black birder Christian Cooper in Central Park, and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on black Americans are all recent examples.
The more we learn about how policies, laws and institutional practices infuse prejudice with power, the more effectively we can work towards a future where social, economic and political opportunities and outcomes are not predicated based upon a person’s race.
As an environmental organization, we will use our platform to spread awareness of environmentalism’s racist history. As we learn and educate ourselves, we will share information and stories of black people and local people of color. We recognize that dismantling racism starts within ourselves, our own community, and the structures in which we work.
We recognize that Sonoma Ecology Center’s work—as an educator, a steward of public parks, an influencer of public policy, a community organizer, and a local employer—is inextricably linked with social justice.
Here are some resources on actions you
can take with us.
- Educate yourself on race, privilege and implicit bias.
- Support black, native, POC-Immigrant and People of Color-owned businesses in Sonoma County
- Sign petitions
- Text or call representatives
This is just the beginning. We never finish learning. We need to experience the difficult emotions and conversations that come with sharing and discussing what we learn. We need to take action with the understanding that everything we do is about equity.