June 9, 2020
Dear MAEE community,
Grief, anger and rightful turmoil over the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers has rocked our communities over the last two weeks.
His murder is yet another painful reminder of racist acts that our Black community members frequently face. From the racism Christian Cooper encountered while birding in Central Park to more covert acts of white supremacy perpetrated against Black, Indigenous and people of color daily, MAEE is committed to fighting these injustices.
MAEE’s mission is to strengthen environmental education in Minnesota. It cannot be done without ensuring an inclusive and equitable space for diverse audiences outside. It cannot be done without members educating themselves and becoming anti-racist. It cannot be done without conversations with friends, family members, and children. We recognize that there is a lot of work to be done in our home state. We are committed to listen, learn and act over the coming weeks, months and years.
MAEE stands in solidarity with George Floyd and his family. MAEE stands in solidarity with our neighbors of Black, Indigenous and communities of color across the state. MAEE stands in solidarity with NAAEE and our fellow affiliates in denouncing individual, institutional and systemic racism. MAEE stands in solidarity with environmental educators, with all educators, and with students across formal and informal sectors. MAEE stands in solidarity with those who advocate for human rights and the rights of nature. These rights are integral in order for environmental education to connect all human communities with the natural world.
As a start, NAAEE has compiled a cohesive set of resources here. MAEE invites thoughts and suggestions for how we can respond with new initiatives as an organization. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We pledge to take action and commit to strengthen environmental education in Minnesota by focusing on fostering inclusive and equitable spaces outdoors.
Keep taking care of each other,
MAEE Board of Directors