Our Statement on Diversity and Inclusivity
June 2020 - As an environmental conservation organization, Pollination Guelph believes that the environment and its inhabitants connect and sustain us all. However, recent events have highlighted that the Black community experiences greater risks in outdoor spaces, such as when Christian Cooper had the police called on him while birding, or when Ahmaud Arbery was chased down and brutally murdered while running. We also recognize that systemic and institutional racism are prevalent in our community, and in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields (amongst others), and that this affects equality and inclusion for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour). Indeed, both historic and current environments have caused BIPOC to be reluctant to participate in nature conservation and appreciation activities. Unfortunately, racism, prejudice, and discrimination may show up in everyday actions or nonactions even by people who believe they are not racist.
We acknowledge that as a non-profit organization we can do more, and are committed to meaningful change to ensure equality and inclusion. We have spent the last few weeks reflecting on how our current policies and practices can be more inclusive, and will continue to do so in the months ahead. As a first step, all of our board members have, or will shortly, undertaken implicit bias training (such as available at https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/). We will be working to make our outreach materials and events more inclusive by deliberately featuring BIPOC and inviting BIPOC to participate.
We will be offering a number of free student registrations for our 2021 Annual Symposium to BIPOC students. Our Symposium features academic and community research and projects in topics such as pollinator conservation, habitat restoration, and environmental education. If you are a BIPOC student interested in attending our next Symposium (date TBD), please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you identify as a BIPOC and have a presentation that would be of interest to attendees at our Symposium, or at another time during the year, please reach out to us as well.
If you have suggestions as to ways we can be more inclusive and diverse, or how we can support others, please contact us at email@example.com. Visit our website for updates as we move forward with our goals. We also encourage you to take the time to educate yourself on some of these topics and examine your own possible biases and actions.
Pollination Guelph strives to be an inclusive organization that supports diversity and inclusion in STEM and in outdoor spaces, regardless of age, gender, orientation, ethnicity, nationality, race, or religion.