American Forests Speaks Out Against Racism

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Black lives matter. All the time.

Our hearts go out to the families, friends and Black communities across the nation who are mourning the recent loss of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Sean Reed, Breonna Taylor and countless others to incidents of police brutality and violence from fellow Americans.

We’ve been silent over the last few days, but only because we are listening.

We are listening to people on our staff and beyond who, justifiably, are scared, enraged and sad. Some are feeling this for the first time. Many have been feeling this pain for decades. The recent protests in cities across the country and abroad are warranted and underscore the need for concrete change on a national scale.

We’re listening so we can do better in changing our own organization and ending racism in the conservation field.

We’re listening so we can do better at helping create a world in which there is no racism. Anywhere. At any time.

We encourage everyone to be part of the change we need. How? In some common sense ways. Hire and promote Black people, speak out when you see an injustice against a Black person, acknowledge Black peoples’ pain, and surround yourself with a diverse group of people.

Those of us who have the privilege and resources to do so can support national organizations working to ensure that Black lives matter in all spaces and places: Black Lives Matter, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Campaign Zero, Advancement Project and the Equal Justice Initiative, as well as local organizations doing this same vital work.

If not us, who? If not now, when?

-Jad Daley
President and CEO
American Forests