On June 1, Katie Davis assumed the role of Executive Director for Wildlands Network. Below is a statement from her.
Over the past seven days, I have taken the time to listen. To reflect. To continue to learn. To identify ways to refine our path forward so that Wildlands Network can be a stronger ally, a stronger agent of change and a stronger organization.
Wildlands Network’s focus on structural change has primarily been in the context of dismantling and reframing human attitudes and activities toward wildlife. As we move forward, our work and actions cannot neglect the fact that justice for the natural world is unattainable without justice and equality among our own species. Black Lives Matter.
At a time when the realities of profound disruption of the natural world, deep inequality in human societies, and systemic injustice are on full display, the need for strong leadership has never been more important. I feel a personal responsibility to use my power, privilege and position to elevate and collaborate with other women, particularly women of color and from marginalized communities.
While I hope to share more about my vision for this organization soon, today I want to take the opportunity to spotlight the work of just a few of the many Black women who are leading movements to address racial bias and injustice built into our legal and social systems, some which were created and have been sustained by the conservation community.
Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi – Co-founders of #BlackLivesMatter. Courageous leaders who built a global organization focused on eradicating white supremacy and building local movements to end systemic racism and violence against Black bodies and communities. Follow them @OposePatrisse, @aliciagarza, and @opalayo.
Rue Mapp – The founder and CEO of @outdoorafro. Rue catalyzed a movement to recognize and celebrate Black leadership and connections to nature that continues to challenge stereotypes of who belongs in the outdoors. Follow her @ruemapp.
Carolyn Finney – Author of Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors. Carolyn spotlights the uncomfortable truths about how Black Americans are denied representation in the conservation space – and how to change these racist dynamics. Learn more here.
We stand in solidarity with all those seeking to challenge, disrupt and remedy the status quo of oppression.
Katie Davis, Executive Director