W e would like to address the Black Lives Matter protests that have erupted across the U.S. and the world in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others. We recognize that ending racial discrimination in the U.S. begins with having discussions about it within our communities.
Sixty years ago, our organization was built on the foundation of an active angling community, and we have thrived by fostering this community since. All of our programs are made possible by the strength of our community, by the thousands of hours our members volunteer each year. Through awareness, empathy, and compassion, we have the power to direct this strength toward making our community more inclusive and representative. The outdoor recreation industry as a whole is grappling with how marginalized communities are silenced, overshadowed, and excluded from outdoor spaces and conversations about conservation.
Northwest Steelheaders is committed to building partnerships with people and organizations whose mission it is to invite new faces, of all colors, to fishing. In September of 2019, our staff and Board of Directors internally implemented ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion training intended to improve our understanding and behavior in order to work toward our goal to become a more inclusive and equitable organization.
“Crossing Boundaries” is our organization’s theme for 2020. This theme centers on our goal to help overcome the social and economic obstacles to fishing and environmental education in underserved communities—including women, financially struggling families, and people of color. Our hope is that this is just the beginning of a dialogue among our membership, within our households, and with our peers.
In support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, we encourage you to take a few minutes today to sign a petition, donate to a black-led civil rights organization, or talk to a friend.
- From all of us at Northwest Steelheaders