All of this experience, and Troutman says people have still occasionally looked at him with doubt. "This is something that all of us are passionate about, because we are increasing the visibility of a group of Black and brown professionals and we're starting a dialogue," says. Sharing these images is a major catalyst for young would-be scientists, birders, and conservation leaders, according to Newsome. Last Friday morning, four days after a video of a racist incident in New York’s Central Park swept across the internet, birder Corina Newsome posted a video to Twitter. Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman, center, with former Chair of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen. “The Black experience is not one of only trauma; it is one of joy and it is one of pride and it is one of strength.”. , with each day featuring its own theme and Twitter hashtag, allowing participants to connect with one another, post pictures, and ask questions from anywhere in the world. National Audubon Society: "‘Black Birders Week’ Promotes Diversity and Takes on Racism in the Outdoors " 5/29/2020 I've had to show them my ID.". The event was created as a response to the Central Park birdwatching incident and police brutality against Black Americans. So the quest for more representation, for more seats at the table in places of learning and science, in research and government, isn't just about following a passion. The northern crested caracara. While it would be wonderful to gather in person, the digital nature of the event allows more people to participate, says Newsome. The incident in Central Park this past May, in which Black birder Chris Cooper was threatened by a white woman after he asked her to leash her dog, has created shockwaves in the birding community, leading to Audubon-sponsored events like “Birding While Black” Zoom conversations and #BlackBirdersWeek, a week-long series of virtual events which aimed to amplify the voices of Black … On Sunday, the #BlackInNature hashtag encouraged Black nature enthusiasts to post pictures and videos of themselves getting outdoors and to talk about their experiences outside. "My work brings me so much joy," she says. The Audubon Society, the National Park Service and countless other organizations have boosted their work, introducing social media to a whole realm of cool birds and new discoveries -- and new faces that challenge and change science stereotypes. "I had never been to a zoo, and before I saw her in action, it never crossed my mind that I could be a zookeeper," Newsome says. , or person of color, in a group of bird or nature enthusiasts. The. After the Christian Cooper incident, Ward helped organize an online series of events called Black Birders Week. "Can I give you a top three?" I began connecting with people all over the world. on Sunday, explaining that while the Central Park incident inspired Black Birders Week, it’s also a response to the recent killings of Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. #BlackBirdersWeek, which began on May 31, has been a week-long event aimed to amplify Black people in every field and their experiences while outdoors. The National Audubon Society is supporting the initiative by co-hosting the #BirdingWhileBlack livestream conversation on Facebook on Thursday at noon and again at 7 pm ET. Troutman considers himself one of the lucky ones. The hit TV show “Atlanta” offers a reminder that one black person's paradise can be another one's terror. On top of it all, no one could have predicted that Black Birders Week, "We can't even organize for one Black trauma before another one happens,". Opoku-Agyeman didn't know much about birding before she started organizing Black Birders Week with other #BlackAFinSTEM members. Through these events and others, the series highlighted research carried out by Black birders, the happiness they find in nature, the racism experienced, and the importance of inclusivity in the outdoors. It's what changed Newsome's perception of her potential. Overwhelmed and Understaffed, Our National Wildlife Refuges Need Help. By Jillian Mock Reporter, Audubon Magazine. This is tremendous. I'm Chidi Paige. While getting people hooked on birds is definitely a goal of Black Birders Week, there's a lot more at stake. So as protests roil, the country contends yet again with the deeply-entrenched racism that has led to Black scientists being excluded, to Black nature lovers feeling unsafe, to a minor disagreement in the park ending in a racially loaded call to police, and a Black man being killed on the Minneapolis pavement. Audubon does not participate in political campaigns, nor do we support or oppose candidates.”. We protect birds and the places they need. Black Birders Week and the new Twitter group have three main goals, says Newsome. This week, we invite everyone to participate in the inaugural Black Birders Week, organized by a community of African American birders, scientists, and nature enthusiasts, including Tykee James, a former Audubon Pennsylvania/Alliance for Watershed Education Fellow who is now a member of National Audubon Society’s Government Relations team in Washington, DC. The event The first Black Birders Week started on Sunday amidst ongoing protests over police brutality and racial injustice sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis on Monday. Spread the word. "I always thought I would be a vet," he said. shows Amy Cooper warning she is going to tell police that “there’s an African American man threatening my life,” then calling 911 and again emphasizing the birder’s race. "People don't talk about the buffalo soldiers who were among the first to care for national parks. The idea for the event grew out of a group chat with more than 100 Black outdoor enthusiasts. If everyone has had the same life experiences, you're less likely to have the solution to a problem.". ", "When I'm in that cynical mindset," he says, "The only thing that gets me out is the joy and unapologetic strength and style of Black birders.".