Our hearts are heavy as we search for the right words to express our support for and solidarity with our colleagues of color during these overwhelmingly troubling times. For more than 40 years, KAEE has worked to encourage people to connect with the outdoors. But when a black man cannot go birding without being reported to the police or facing other racist encounters, we know our work is far from done. Until all people can feel—and actually are—safe enough to enjoy outdoor spaces without unwarranted suspicion, confrontation, and violence, we still have a great deal of work to do.
In our field, we ask people to see all sides of an issue in order to make informed decisions. There are, however, not two sides to injustice. It is wrong. It is hurtful. It is offensive. And it merits our attention and action.
One of KAEE’s strategic plan goals centers around bringing people together to create a stronger and more inclusive environmental education movement. As one step toward meeting this goal, KAEE has compiled a collection of equity and inclusion resources—from articles to videos, recommended books and podcasts to expert voices—that can help you on your own journey toward understanding and pursuing racial equity. Like our work in advancing environmental knowledge around the state, this is work that is ever-changing and growing, and it may be the most important thing we, each and every one of us, can do. We would love to hear from you as we continue to build this collection of resources; please let us know if you have suggested readings, videos, podcasts, and more to add to these pages.
In the days and weeks ahead, we will be listening to leaders, both in our own field and in organizations across the spectrum, who are speaking up against injustice and inequality. We will be listening to our audience, and we will be actively paying attention and seeking ways to help as current events unfold in our communities and communities across the country. We challenge you to do the same, to listen, learn, speak up, and speak out about the injustices taking place. We encourage you to be part of the dialog and action to bring about justice and equity for all. The board and staff of KAEE unequivocally condemn racist behavior, and we are committed to refocusing our efforts toward safe, equal access to the outdoors for all.
Ashley Hoffman, Executive Director
Jennifer Hubbard-Sánchez, Board Chair