Statement on Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the Half-Earth Project®

the earth is a living thing

is a lack shambling bear
ruffling its wild back and tossing
mountains into the sea

is a black hawk circling 
the burying ground circling the bones
picked clean and discarded

is a fish black blind in the belly of water
is a diamond blind in the black belly of coal

is a black and living thing
is a favorite child
of the universe
feel her rolling her hand
in its kinky hair
feel her brushing it clean

-Lucille Clifton, 1936-2010

The Half-Earth Project is calling on people everywhere to participate in a “moonshot” to care for our planet. Such efforts require broad collaboration across sectors and geographies and the contributions of diverse voices, perspectives, expertise and experience.

At the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, we acknowledge that centuries of racism, violence, discrimination and marginalization have obstructed participation of Black, Latinx, Indigenous and Asian people and communities of color in conservation globally. We acknowledge that barriers persist, despite the importance of these individuals and communities as both stakeholders and stewards, ones from whom the world has much to learn. Further, we recognize that the same people who have been systemically excluded from the process are disproportionately hurt by degraded air, lands and waters, perpetuating a cycle of harm and exclusion.

We commit to be part of breaking this cycle. We commit to prioritizing listening and taking clear steps externally and internally to combat racism and oppression of all types. We commit to working toward justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in our leadership, our programs, our strategic planning, our operations, our communications and our fundraising. We commit to creating a culture at the foundation that educates staff and stakeholders on the issues of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion and holds opportunity for traditionally excluded groups to join in processes, activities and decision-making. We welcome and encourage feedback along the way.

We commit to understanding that this body of work IS our work if we are to achieve the goal of Half-Earth and benefit all people and species.

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