Save the Redwoods League Board of Directors’ Resolution on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Addressing Eugenics

On September 11, 2020, the Board of Directors of Save the Redwoods League passed a resolution denouncing our founders’ historical involvement in eugenics, and formally supporting the League’s commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). With this resolution, our Board acknowledges our role in strengthening the connection between conservation, civil rights, and social and environmental justice.

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS we strengthen our vision of protecting and restoring redwood forests and connecting all people to the beauty, power, and resilience of the redwoods by healing the damage of the past in our forests, our communities, and our organization;

WHEREAS we publicly acknowledge the racist beliefs of Madison Grant, Henry Fairfield Osborn, and John C. Merriam and the systemic repercussions of these beliefs on the American conservation movement and the work of Save the Redwoods League;

WHEREAS League staff has developed a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) commitment statement and, imminently, a DEI plan for the organization;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we commit to infusing DEI principles in all areas of our work, from our organizational culture and operations to our conservation programs and communications, through dedicated implementation of our DEI plan and associated metrics for monitoring our progress;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we will fortify our staff by encouraging open discussion and feedback about internal DEI-related issues, and that we honor members of our staff who have experienced marginalization by listening to and validating their experiences. We commit to creating a culture of openness, respect, curiosity, and compassion. We understand that this will result in a more engaged, diverse, and inclusive workforce best positioned to advance our programmatic initiatives;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, pertaining to our programmatic work, we will prioritize and seek out partnerships with historically marginalized and underrepresented voices in the conservation movement, including but not limited to Indigenous and tribal communities in California that are working to protect and restore redwood forestland and evolve park interpretation;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we will enhance our storytelling about the League’s history to accurately reflect how systemic oppression and structural racism influenced the conservation movement and our work specifically, including our founders’ support of eugenics. We commit to engaging donors, partners, and other stakeholders in conversations about the full history and affiliations of Save the Redwoods League to give them a complete and honest understanding of our history and the cultural context of our founding, as well as our positioning in the broader conservation movement;

AND BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Board of Directors of Save the Redwoods League hereby supports continued DEI efforts through programmatic implementation, communications, and internal organizational culture.

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