Statement on Racial Injustice

The notion of the United States experiencing two pandemics has sparked widespread conversations and statements from organizations expressing their commitments to action. We share the grief, anger, and sadness felt by so many in this time of unease sparked by the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, and too many others.

At this point, you may be thinking, “oh no, not another statement on racial injustice” or “what does racism have to do with women in the forest sector?”

As the Women’s Forest Congress Steering Committee, our mission is to create a forum for ideas around forests through a female lens. In doing so, we seek to curate a respectful, inclusive, and safe space for all women to be heard, to listen, and to act for the benefit of forests.

Typically, when discussing women in the forest sector, the voices of women of color are marginalized. The existing disparities between women and men in leadership roles and the workforce in the forest sector are exacerbated when looking at women of color.

With equity and activism as some of our fundamental principles, we have decided to revisit our collective and individual commitments to racial injustice in light of recent events. Considering the power of silence, we recognize the importance of words that lead to action.

In memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, and Ahmaud Arbery, amongst many others.

The Women’s Forest Congress Steering Committee:

Jasmine Brown
Lauren Cooper
Alicia Cramer
Asia Dowtin

Ara Erickson
Kathryn Fernholz
Rita Hite
Elizabeth Woodworth

We stand against racism.

The Women’s Forest Congress believes that Black Lives Matter.

We remain committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion for all women in the forest sector.

The Steering Committee commits to the following actions:

  • We will remain intentional about including women of color on our steering committee and invitee list.
  • We will continue highlighting the wide range of perspectives of women in the forest sector.
  • We will seek women of color facilitators for our forthcoming events.
  • We will continue to have conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • We will include topics about environmental racism and race in conservation and natural resources.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of resources: