BCFO Statement on Racism and Discrimination

Recent events, including the racism directed at Christian Cooper on the Ramble in New York City’s Central Park, demonstrate that racism and discrimination are everywhere, even in the birding world. British Columbia Field Ornithologists is committed to ensuring inclusion and diversity within its own ranks and within the wider birding community. All of us have a responsibility to challenge racism and discrimination whenever they appear and to work towards respect and inclusivity, whether we are in the field or meeting with our members and fellow birders.

8 responses to “BCFO Statement on Racism and Discrimination

  1. Thanks for posting this. Racism is sadly alive and well in Canada and in BC. We need to continue to talk about the problem and not brush it under the rug if we want to make a difference in our BC birding community in order to make it friendly to all people of colour, genders and LGBTQ+. Recent events here in BC have shown an increase in anti Asian racism it’s time we speak up to racism wherever we see it and that the outdoors and birding is safe for all because sadly it currently is not.

  2. I applaud the statement.

  3. Ren Ferguson

    I welcome BCFO making this statement. I will be eagerly watching for ways that the organization actively works to reach out to marginalized persons in the future having stated your “commitment to ensuring inclusion and diversity in its own ranks”.

    As a birding community I hope that everyone will step up and call out racism, homophobia, transphobia and the like whenever it occurs. This is a call for each of us do our part to stand up against hatred.

    I would love to see more diversity in our birding community. We all love birds. Birds bring us together. Lets welcome, celebrate and respect each and every person who wants to share that love with us.

  4. Bryony Angell

    I’m a birder a mere 100 miles south of you in WA can tell you the birding community here has been deep in self reflection and pivoting for diversity, equity and inclusion before recent events and even more so now. We recognize that the future of birding and bird conservation is in the hands of people who don’t fit the traditional birder plumage (people of color, non binary, young, urban, educated or not) and we’re reaching out to new birders where they are, not where the old guard seems to staunchly cling to. Does it make the old guard uncomfortable? You bet! But a future without birds makes me more uncomfortable and if the birding world doesnt evolve it will die, along with the birds we love. A statement without direction or meaningful, measurable steps toward an outcome is empty. You can do better. Take a cue from the ABA or National Audubon and publish articles, host events, invite speakers, publish photos, show your members your statement might have some heft.

  5. Gerald McKeating

    Excellent

  6. Thanks for sending this message out. The situation in Central Park is unfortunately very similar to recent occurrences in our own area. If we see things like this going on we should not hesitate to call them out…and take a picture.

    Allan

  7. The ABA and Birds Canada have put out statements with real commitments promised to show how will make the changes.

    Please read them here:

    https://www.aba.org/black-birders-week-statement/

    https://www.birdscanada.org/diversitystatement/

    I hope BCFO will do the same because without real commitments to make changes inside the organization true change will not come. We can definitely do better.

  8. Good statement. Nicely written.

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