Mass Audubon Selected to Participate in National Environmental Equity Program
Michael P. O'Connor
LINCOLN, MA.—Mass Audubon has been named one of 10 organizations from throughout the country to be accepted by the Lawrence Hall of Science and Justice Outside to participate in the Working Toward Racial Equity (WTRE) Workshop Series.
WTRE, based at the University of California, Berkeley, supports environmental and outdoor science organizations to foster equitable, inclusive, and culturally relevant work environments and organizations.
“We are thrilled to be selected to participate in this important program. It is an incredible opportunity for Mass Audubon to grow as an organization and to do the hard work necessary to become a more equitable and inclusive institution,” explained Mass Audubon President David J. O’Neill. “This collaboration with The Lawrence Hall of Science and Justice Outside is indicative of the importance of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) to Mass Audubon and we are committed to becoming the most welcoming conservation organization we can be.”
Goals of the WTRE including developing and continuously improving the capacities of participants to make systemic improvements to become more equitable organizations and creating racial equity models that can be broadly implemented in the field.
The workshop series will be organized within two strands: one focused on organizational systems change and the other focused on supporting professionals of color at participating organizations.
Participation in the two-year program will advance Mass Audubon’s commitment to environmental justice, and more specifically to inclusive and equitable access to nature, a priority goal of the statewide conservation organization’s five-year Action Agenda.
The program will be overseen by Nia Keith, Vice President for Diversity, Equity Inclusion, and Justice, who also led the organization’s pursuit of this program.
Prior to being promoted earlier this year to this new staff leadership position, Keith served as Climate Change Education Manager. In this former capacity, she helped guide Mass Audubon’s strategic goals around climate change education, with an emphasis on climate justice. She also led a team that helped develop the DEIJ goals for the Action Agenda.
Keith said she is excited about the potential for the program to advance Mass Audubon’s commitment to equity and access, both internally and externally.
“The WTRE workshop series will be impactful for Mass Audubon and has the potential to transform the entire environmental field by creating more equitable and inclusive organizations across the country,” she noted. “By engaging in programs like this, we show that when it comes to the priorities of the new Mass Audubon Action Agenda, we are willing to walk the talk.”
Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 160,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at www.massaudubon.org.