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This week has seen many events to raise awareness about racism in America, and one of the most inspiring is #BlackBirdersWeek (May 31-June 5), the brainchild of a group of 30 scientists and outdoor enthusiasts who are working together under the handle @BlackAFinSTEM to show Black unity in “STEM” fields. They flew into action after learning the story of Christian Cooper, the Black man who was birdwatching in New York City’s Central Park, who was thrust into the spotlight when a white woman threatened to falsify a story to the police about him because he asked her to leash her dog. They organized a series of events happening this week to “make sure the world knows that Black birders belong here, we are thriving, and our community is growing. We want members of our community…to not be deterred by people who have attempted to make these spaces hostile to us. We are changing the face of birding,” according to birdwatchingdaily.com.
Why This Matters: Our movement MUST be inclusive to its core. @BlackAFinSTEM is changing the face of conservation. It’s on every one of us to make sure they know that more than being “welcome,” they ARE the movement.
There is much more to this than just breaking down stereotypes and making Black people feel welcome in parks and nature — it is also about overcoming discrimination in STEM fields. Minorities are traditionally underrepresented in the sciences and academics and this group is determined to change that. They aspire to lead — to have the chance to achieve top jobs in STEM businesses, in government, and in academia. Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyemanexplained, “This is something that all of us are passionate about, because we are increasing the visibility of a group of Black and brown professionals and we’re starting a dialogue. For us, it’s quite an honor to have this pick up steam and gain national attention.”
To Go Birding “With” Them: You can get more information here. Follow them on Twitter too!
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer The earliest iteration of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was founded in 1977 to “defend, conserve and protect our ocean.” Meet three women, featured by Vogue, who are carrying out the organization’s mission: Eva Hidalgo: 31-year-old Spanish scientist who was part of the team that possibly identified a new […]
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer A bill sitting on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s desk could take away local government’s decision-making about their energy choices, including where to build large-scale solar arrays. The outcome will impact the historically Black town of Archer, where Origis Energy and Gainesville Regional Utilities want to build a 50-megawatt solar […]
The American Jobs Plan is an unmissable moment for communities across the country to address the legacy of urban freeways and set a new course for a more equitable future. It’s absolutely critical that as we begin to reimagine and build the transportation infrastructure of the 21st century that we do not repeat the mistakes […]
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