A Call for Solidarity and Action
The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and so many more, in addition to the disproportional impact of COVID-19 on black Americans cannot be met with silence. The 2020 leadership of the Rangeland section fully affirms that lives of black Americans matter and are important to ecology, rangelands, and rangeland science. So, let us join together to support America’s black, brown and indigenous peoples, especially those who live or work on the rangelands we cherish and study. We need to remember that rangelands have often been flash points for racism and bigotry throughout America’s history. Many Native Americans were driven from these lands, and worse, were persecuted and killed in the process. Even today, rangelands are used as political pawns to depict an ideal of a “wide open” America by white supremacists scoring political points and spewing hatred toward those who see them as ecological safe havens or lands where human livelihoods and wildlife can be shared sustainably.
Let this be a rallying call to all of us in the Rangeland Section to find a way forward to correct these destructive, divisive and too often, deadly injustices. Environmental good cannot come without racial justice. As we formulate a plan to stamp out racism and discrimination, we would like to hear from you with suggestions. The sooner we use our resources and our platforms to learn, share, and act, the sooner we will be able to partner with America’s black, brown and indigenous communities of color to enact social and environmental good.
We will allot time to creating plans of action at the forthcoming section meeting in August 2020 (detail forthcoming), but in the meantime, please respond with your ideas over email, to RangelandEcology “at” community.esa.org
Sheri Spiegal, Chair
Daniel I. Rubenstein, Vice Chair
Elizabeth G King, Secretary
Joseph Gazing Wolf, Student Liaison
A.Josh Leffler, Past Chair
Sarah E. McCord, Organizer of 2020 section-sponsored Organized Oral Session