Corina Newsome birding along the Savannah River in Georgia. Photo Credit: Katherine Arntzen/Georgia Southern University

Society USA4. January 2021

This Organisation Helps Birdwatchers of Color

Following a racist incident involving an avid birder in the United States, an initiative aimed at shedding light on the equality issues black conservationists face kicked off on social media this summer – and it has gained a ton of success!

Black Birders Week started off as an online event on social media highlighting racial issues surrounding black birders and has since expanded into supporting all forms of BIPOC – Black, Indigenous and People of Color – scientists studying the natural world, from mammologists to botanists.

“#BecauseOfBlackBirdersWeek, the National Wildlife Federation is expanding its Conservation Fellowship & Intern Programs to create opportunities dedicated specifically for young biologists of color (students & recent grads),” announced the National Wildlife Federation after the inaugural campaign, “to help more #BlackBirders launch careers in conservation.”

The campaign was inspired by a viral video on Twitter showing a woman in Central Park, New York, calling the cops on a birder who asked her to put her dog on a leash, telling them, “An African American is threatening me and my dog.” The first Black Birders Week online event was such a success, it immediately helped highlight the problems scientists of color experience across all nature-loving disciplines.


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