Date: 7/21/20 11:17 am
From: Bridget Egan <mtnegan...>
Subject: [obol] Re: A Message from the OBA Board of Directors
Perhaps the better question for all of us to ask is:
How can *I personally* ensure I ALWAYS create inclusive spaces (online, in
person, in the field, everywhere) and not assume that my own experiences
are the same as others' lived experiences and trauma? The links to Black
Birders Week panels shared in the original email are a great place to start
if you have no idea how someone could feel unwelcomed, targeted, or alone.

On Tue, Jul 21, 2020 at 10:25 AM Jeff Gilligan <jeffgilligan10...>

> When has anyone not been welcomed?
> On Jul 21, 2020, at 8:09 AM, Nagi Aboulenein <nagi.aboulenein...>
> wrote:
> The Oregon Birding Association (OBA) board met recently to discuss how our
> organization can do more to remove the barriers that face Black,
> Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) birders in Oregon and to adopt a
> strong position on this issue that goes beyond our initial statement on
> racism in birding. In the midst of the nationwide outcry over the
> centuries-long oppression and brutalization of Black Americans, we
> recognize that OBA has historically been a mostly white organization in a
> mostly white state, promoting a hobby historically enjoyed by mostly white
> people. We have not done enough in the past to recognize the ways in which
> birding is not equally accessible to everyone, or worked to change this
> dynamic. We are working to make birding in Oregon more welcoming to all,
> while acknowledging the privilege that white birders have in this regard.
> Moving forward, we hope to use our grant program to support organizations
> doing work that aligns with our mission in communities that we don’t
> currently reach. We also plan to incorporate this work into our field
> trips, our annual meeting, and the Oregon Birds journal. These are all
> volunteer endeavors, and we welcome your participation.
> We encourage Oregon birders to actively educate themselves on anti-racism
> and specifically the challenges that face Black Americans and Black birders
> in our home state as a first step.
> These panels are highly educational in terms of explaining the obstacles
> faced by Black birders.
> Black Birder Week panel 1
> <>
> Black Birders Week panel 2
> <>
> More to read and watch from Black birders:
> Jason Ward's "Birds of North America"
> <>
> Birding While Black (Drew Lanham)
> <>
> We hope that Oregon birders agree with the growing understanding that this
> topic is not political, but one of basic human rights, and that it is not
> tangential to our hobby, but central to it, and critical to include in our
> forums, including OBOL. We support the recent statement
> <> from
> Seattle Audubon and encourage Oregon birders to read it and reflect on its
> meaning.
> We recognize the work that is already being done in this regard,
> particularly by BIPOC-led organizations such as Wild Diversity
> <> and Outdoor Afro <>,
> that are working in Oregon to welcome and create a sense of belonging in
> the outdoors for the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities, and encourage our
> members to become familiar with and support their work.
> We approach this work with humility and a willingness to learn and change,
> even though it may be uncomfortable. We welcome your feedback about how we
> as an organization can work to remove the barriers that face BIPOC birders
> in Oregon. We would also like to encourage anyone interested in getting
> more involved with OBA and helping with this effort to contact us. We
> currently have several open board seats, and would like anyone interested
> in furthering the cause of birding and birders in Oregon to join us on the
> OBA board.
> Signed: The OBA Board of Directors.

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