November 17, 2020
Seattle Audubon was saddened to learn about the culture of “intimidation and threats” experienced by people of color and women at the National Audubon Society, which was uncovered in an investigative report published by Politico last week. We stand in solidarity with the hundreds of National Audubon Society employees who have called on leadership to demonstrate their stated values of racial and gender equity and to create a workplace where all people feel heard, valued, and respected. The National Audubon Society has a commitment to employees, members, and partners, and we look forward to serious efforts towards becoming a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization.
While it’s true that Seattle Audubon is an independently incorporated nonprofit organization, with separate finances, governance, and leadership from the National Audubon Society, we believe it is important for all of us within the greater Audubon network to hold each other accountable to our shared values. This includes continuing to hold ourselves accountable to the necessary work to promote equity and justice in our organizations and the communities we serve.
At Seattle Audubon, we strive to be an organization that supports leadership by women and Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Diversity expands and enriches our understanding of birds, nature, conservation, and each other. We believe that organizations are more effective, resilient, and vibrant when they are led, staffed, and supported by people of many different backgrounds and perspectives.
With this statement, Seattle Audubon acknowledges the remaining distance between our own reality and our aspirations—we have a lot of work to do. Our board of directors and senior leadership have dedicated staff time and budget to these efforts and are committed to this work over the long term. Guided by our Equity & Justice Committee comprised of board, staff, and volunteers, we’re auditing our internal culture and operations to ensure our practices advance equity and justice. Furthermore, we’re developing targeted trainings and commit to changes to address where we’re falling short. If you’d like to provide input or be involved in this important work, please contact Community Engagement Manager Wendy Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
Claire Catania, Executive Director
Supriya Kumar, PhD, Equity & Justice Committee, Vice Chair
Sarah Lindsley, PhD, Equity & Justice Committee, Chair
Jennifer McKeirnan, Board President