Our organization and staff are filled with grief and anger about the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and the senseless deaths of so many other Black Americans, including those killed by police during recent peaceful protests. We have not been leaders in this movement for change, and OBCA does not have a history of action in solidarity with black communities. We are a predominantly white-led organization and as we continue to grow in our allyship, speaking out against injustice and in support of communities of color is critical.
We are committed to continuing and expediting the ongoing work of truly being in solidarity with our Black, Indigenous, LGBTQ+ students, staff, and communities of color. We call on our white colleagues, donors, staff, and alumni families to join us by doing the same. Follow our social channels as we feature Black and POC leaders in the outdoor and educational space and share ways to take action.
We are listening and working to amplify the voices of black and non-black people of color (POC) within our staff, alumni and student community through town halls and surveys
We expanded our Leadership Team to include staff members in close contact to field staff and students to elevate their voices.
We provided space for staff to process these events, reflect, and pledge to act during paid staff trainings
We are taking steps to divest from vendors whose activities and investments do not align with our values or those of our staff and students
We have raised funds to provide free rent and food for educators living in OBCA-provided housing while they are out of work during the pandemic
We are actively revising our existing strategic plan around Equity and Inclusion.
And this is just the beginning. We stand behind this statement from Josh Brankman, Executive Director of Outward Bound USA, and are committed to do better and truly show up in the months and years to come.
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