Nature Unites Us – Strength Through Diversity

At The Nature Conservancy, we tend to focus our communications on what we do rather than who we are. We share with our members the number of acres we’ve protected or the miles of rivers that we’ve restored. At times, we’ll focus on our approach – our commitment to science, collaboration and long-lasting results. But rarely do we discuss our core values as an organization.

The events of the past week have left many of us unsettled. In light of these events, I felt it was important to highlight two of The Conservancy’s core values: respect for people, communities and cultures and commitment to diversity. These are values we live and breathe at The Conservancy and they cut across political, cultural and geographic boundaries.

These issues hit particularly close to home for me. Born in Argentina and now a resident of the United States for more than 20 years, I have seen the greatness of this country first-hand and it does not come from racism, bigotry and intolerance. My family is a classic American melting pot, rich in diversity, as many of yours probably are; I was nurtured by Jewish, Spanish and Italian grandparents, then Argentine parents, and am now raising a half-Latino daughter in Boulder County.

Taking a stand for equality and against intolerance is not just the right thing to do, it’s also crucial to achieve our conservation mission: To create a world in which people and nature both thrive. To achieve this goal, we need all people to work together and to bring their unique and diverse backgrounds, beliefs and ideas forward in a safe and inclusive environment. Success depends on deep and lasting relationships with diverse communities across our state and around the world.

Today and every day, we stand up for the people in these communities. Our thoughts are with our colleagues in Charlottesville, with everyone affected by these horrific events and with all who are the targets of bigotry and hatred. We will continue to speak up for the values that are at the very heart of who we are as people and as an organization.

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