Intersections: Racism, Colonialism, and Conservation
Structures of domination are interwoven in many human organizations, including conservation and funding organizations, political and economic bodies, and communities. Past and current oppressive domination has resulted from racist and colonialist attitudes. Those attitudes, conscious and unconscious, continue to infect individuals and systems.
The earth and her beings call us to be agents of transformational change. This will require inner work as well as outer. It will require addressing the intersecting ways that the Covid-19 pandemic, species extinction, poverty, and white supremacy all connect with the ways we relate to wildlife and ecosystems.
For too long, approaches to conservation have denied and enforced oppression. We are called now to the work of dismantling structures of oppression in our conservation organizations and individual relationships. This is often painful and uncomfortable work. While we continue to learn more about how racism and colonialism intersect with conservation, many of us have begun to notice the severity and extent of the problem – yet no consensus has emerged on how to dismantle domination. Arriving at a plan will require the contribution and investment of all of us concerned with conservation. This work is of paramount importance, and none of us can do it alone.
The video conference we are hosting on July 8, 2020 from 3pm to 4pm Eastern Daylight Time is an invitation to share with one another our experiences, understandings, and ideas for where we go from here concerning the intersections of racism, colonialism and conservation. The facilitators will guide the conversation by leading off with questions we will consider from our own identities and location of being white, heterosexual, cisgender, middle-class North Americans living outside of New York City. We lead not because our viewpoints are normative, but instead, are born out of the wounding and love we share with the many oppressed people and beings we have personally lost and loved – and harmed. We seek to continually learn and adapt, and reach for the accountability that community and conversation makes possible.
Will you please join us?
Ancilleno O. Davis, PhD is the founder of the "Science and Perspective" brand. Born and raised in the Bahamas, Leno has studied in the Bahamas and USA and traveled to 13 different countries and territories around the world due to his conservation work. He recognizes the power in diversity and the challenges of institutional biases and racism. He aims to promote good science through diversity of thought and the reduction of those biases.
Rev. Dr. Meredith Garmon is a board member of One Earth Conservation, a former philosophy professor, and current Unitarian Universalist minister serving the Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains, NY. He is the spouse of LoraKim Joyner.
Rev. Dr. LoraKim Joyner is co-director of One Earth Conservation, a former professor in Avian Medicine, and current wildlife veterinarian, a Certified Trainer in Nonviolent Communication, a Unitarian Universalist minister, and a parrot conservationist for 33 years in the Americas.
Drs. Davis, Garmon, and Joyner
We ask that words you use consider the vulnerability of strangers from all over the world coming together to heal and open their hearts and together, with tenderness, finding a better way.
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