Inclusive Change: Birds Connect Seattle
Our dedication to following an equitable, just, and antiracist path had been encumbered by a namesake steeped in racism and scientific fraud. We underwent a process to remove that significant barrier to fulfilling our overall mission to advocate and organize for cities where (all) people and birds thrive. That process led us to a new name: Birds Connect Seattle. For more about our change, please visit the following:
- Local & National Media Coverage of Name Change
- EarthCare NW: Our Story of Change
- Frequently Asked Questions About Name Change
- Partner Spotlight: Chevon Powell
- Our Visual Journey & Connection
- Junichi Tsuneoka’s Community Emblem
- Video Storytelling with Brave Space Media
- Our Name Reveal Video from March 28
- A New Name for an Inclusive Future
- The Story Behind Finding Our New Name
Arguments for Change
- “By Any Other Name” with J. Drew Lanham
- Our Statement on National Audubon Name Announcement
- Membership Update on Name Change
- Our Equity & Justice Committee, an all-BIPOC body, compiled an FAQ on the most common objections to removing “Audubon” from the organizational namesake
- Ways to Discuss Removing “Audubon”
- Claire Catania: “The shameful legacy of the real John James Audubon, not the mythologized version, is antithetical to the mission of this organization and its values.”
- Suggested reading list about the legacy of John James Audubon and its impact on conservation
- Antiracism resources curated by our Equity & Justice Committee
Is Your Chapter Contemplating a Name Change?
Birds Connect Seattle™ was specifically chosen for its potential to be used as part of a broader naming convention. For more information:
Process & Timeline
We have been conducting a thoughtful and inclusive process to discuss with our community, present and future, the values that should be reflected in a new name and the mission for which it stands. Our timeline has been:
- June 11, 2020: Board of Directors approve Cities at the Center strategic plan, with equity as one of three core themes.
- July 8, 2021: Board of Directors adopt resolution affirming support for the campaign to hange eponymous names for birds and calling on the National Audubon Society to initiate, no later than September 20, 2021, an inclusive and transparent re-examination of John James Audubon as our shared organizational namesake.
- Summer, 2021: Equity Project Task Force, aided by Point B Consulting, completes a comprehensive audit of our organization’s internal and external practices around diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- March 1, 2022: Organization creates and fills Community Director position to lead antiracism practices, inclusive programs.
- July 14, 2022: Board of Directors vote to drop Audubon as organizational namesake.
- July 26, 2022: Open membership feedback on Zoom.
- September, 2022: Internal stakeholder focus groups.
- October, 2022: External stakeholder feedback begins.
- October, 2022: Online values/mission survey.
- November, 2022: Assemble name selection committee.
- November, 2022: Local & National outreach continues.
- January, 2023: Selection Committee evaluates feedback.
- February, 2023: Selection Committee stress tests name candidates.
- February 21, 2023: Selection Committee recommends name finalists to SAS Directors.
- February, 2023: Finalists receive additional legal vetting.
- March 11, 2023: Directors recommend name to Board of Directors.
- March 11, 2023: Board of Directors unanimously approve new name recommendation.
- March 15, 2023: NAS announces it will retain Audubon as organizational namesake.
- March 28, 2023: Birds Connect Seattle™ is announced to membership with remarks from Dr. J. Drew Lanham. For a recording of the event: Click here.
- March, 2023: Name change process begins (legal, logo and web design, logistics).
- June 20, 2023: New logo, name video, commissioned artwork revealed.
Outdoor Asian bird outing at Union Bay Natural Area (photo by Glenn Nelson).