Backlash hits Audubon after refusal to drop slave-holder’s name

Read the full story at GreenWire.

Three members of the National Audubon Society’s board of directors resigned Wednesday in response to the conservation group’s announcement that it will retain its current name tied to the enslaver and bird artist, John James Audubon.

The national conservation organization is facing an internal backlash after publicly announcing that its board of directors decided to keep its current name after a yearlong deliberation. The decision outraged employees, prompted an uncomfortable all-staff meeting and drove three board members to resign in protest.

Stephen Tan, a vice chair of Audubon’s board, and two other board members — Sara Fuentes and Erin Giese — resigned over the decision, according to a person who was informed about the resignations and was granted anonymity to discuss personnel moves that haven’t been publicly announced.

National Audubon Society, pressured to remove slave-owning naturalist’s name, keeps it

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The National Audubon Society, one of the country’s best-known bird conservation organizations, decided in a closed-door vote this week to retain the name of John James Audubon, famed 19th-century naturalist and wildlife illustrator who was also an unabashed enslaver.

The move comes even as about half-a-dozen of the organization’s regional chapters have pledged to scrub his name from their titles, part of a broader reckoning over the U.S. environmental movement’s history of entrenched racism.

The Sierra Club tries to move past John Muir, George Floyd and #MeToo

Read the full story in the New York Times.

For three years, the nation’s most prominent environmental organization has been ruminating about its past and future. Like many other American institutions, the Sierra Club was convulsed by the 2020 murder of George Floyd, beset by painful questions about its mission and history, including whether its founder, John Muir, was biased against people of color.

Now, the organization is trying to emerge from the other side of that appraisal. It has named Ben Jealous, a civil rights activist, author, investor and nonprofit leader as its new executive director.

Mr. Jealous, 50, chief executive of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People from 2008 to 2013, is the first person of color to lead the Sierra Club. (The club has had three people of color on its board serve as president.)

Justice or overreach?: As crucial test looms, Big Greens are under fire

Read the full story at Politico.

The environmental movement embraces a broad array of progressive causes while its own agenda hangs in the balance.

Enviro groups slowly diversify; funding gaps remain

Read the full story from E&E News.

The environmental movement has made some progress in diversifying its ranks, a watchdog group said today, but much more work needs to be done.

Green 2.0, a nonprofit dedicated to equity in the environmental arena, found that major groups increased the percentage of people of color on their full-time staff and boards from 2020 to 2021. (The report often uses “POC” as shorthand for people of color.)

Environmental activism – power without accountability?

Read the full story from The Guardian.

Activists’ emotive soundbites tend to win the PR war over companies’ technical jargon. But while activism is valuable, it’s not always accountable, writes Joseph Zammit-Lucia.

Non-profit Centers Find Sustainable Success Through Collaboration

Read the full story at Triple Pundit.

Call it serendipity. But when the Tides NonProfit Centers network set out in 2004 to provide education and resources for the creation and operation of quality nonprofit workspaces across North America, they did not realize the kinds of synergistic benefits that would accrue from the co-location of nonprofit organizations. We’ll take a look at a couple of examples in a minute.

What the study found was that these diverse groups with parallel missions, all aimed at improving quality of life in their respective communities, one way or another, formed spontaneous coalitions around issues of mutual interest that were:

  • Responsive to the needs of the community
  • Financially viable
  • More efficient in achieving their missions
  • More highly visible and
  • Overall, more effective

While non-profit centers have been around for a long time, many new ones, particular those based on specific themes have emerged in the past five years. There are obvious advantages such as the use of shared kitchen and bathroom facilities, conference rooms, and lower rents, all of which allow these organizations to operate at lower cost, but it is the collaborations, that truly take these centers to a new level. A study conducted by Tides found that 46% of the 2600 organizations they studied, representing 130 centers, reported collaboration on at least a monthly basis. Of those organizations, 56% reported a substantial improvement in their effectiveness as the result of co-locating in a center, while an additional 30% reported a moderate improvement.