At Washington Wild, we know the value of coalition building, partnerships, and community. In light of recent events, we want to say to those who are hurting: we hear you, we are listening, we care about you, and we are with you.
Washington’s public lands belong to us all and should be safe and welcoming to everyone. However, time and time again, people of color have been targeted while enjoying outdoor activities like bird watching, barbecuing, and jogging. This reality is unacceptable. The benefits of experiencing nature are not reserved for a select few.
As Rue Mapp, founder of Outdoor Afro said: “I think about the Redwoods who were all clearcut, and now those trees are all second and third growth – that is the story of regeneration. I think nature holds those stories of relief. Nature relieves the stress of racism that we all feel. The trees don’t know what color I am. The birds don’t know what gender is. The flowers don’t know how much money I have in my bank account. I think we can rely on nature to be the equalizer for us so we can shed the weight. The possibility is there for us.”
There is much more work to do in the fight for environmental and racial justice. We are proud to continue to advocate for our public lands in partnership with Black and Indigenous communities here in Washington. As we work to build upon our organizational commitment to equity and inclusion, we stand in solidarity with those fighting for a more just society for all.
Black Lives Matter. On our streets and on the trails.
Resources and Reading:
75 Things White People can do for Racial Justice by Corinne Shutack
A Timeline of Events That Led to the 2020 ‘Fed-Up’-rising by Michael Harriot
Being Black in Nature: ‘You’re an Endangered Species’ by Poppy Noor
I’m a black climate expert. Racism derails our efforts to save the planet. by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson
The Breakdown Podcast with Shaun King
This Week Has Happened Before by Julia Craven
We’re here. You Just Don’t See Us. by Latria Graham
White Allies – Here’s How You Can Be One by Stephanie Long