June 9, 2020

Dear Friends of PRNSA,

I am writing today to add Point Reyes National Seashore Association’s voice to those around the country and globe in support of Black Lives Matter. We condemn the racism and police brutality responsible for the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade. These are the names and stories that have made the headlines most recently, along with the racist confrontation between a dog walker and birder in Central Park and the disproportionately greater number of Black people who have died from Covid-19 due to deep inequities in our country. Together, they illustrate how differently Black people experience daily life compared to White Americans. These incidents, and countless others, deserve our attention, understanding, and resolve. We can do better. 

Towards Safe and Welcoming Park Spaces
Our mission is to partner with the National Park Service to create opportunities for all people to experience, enhance, and preserve Point Reyes National Seashore for present and future generations. PRNSA's work to care for the land, connect people to nature, and build community can only be accomplished when everyone feels safe and welcomed at our Seashore and public lands.

One week ago I watched in disbelief as peaceful protesters at Lafayette Square in Washington D.C. were forcefully dispersed from national park land by US Park Police and other law enforcement agents for a presidential photo op. I joined 80 nonprofit organizations from across the country in signing a letter to the Department of the Interior asking for an explanation of the incident. We expect better. 

Connecting Our Pledge With Our Programs
Our national park system commemorates some of the civil struggles in America… Selma , Manzanar , César E. Chávez . These and other national park sites honor the sacrifices of people who fought to advance social justice and human rights. We are living tomorrow’s history today and we pledge to work to make sure that story is one we can take pride in telling future generations. 

At PRNSA, we will continue to work to connect people who have historically felt less welcomed and less safe in parks to the Seashore. E quity at all levels of our organization is a key focus of our strategic plan that was passed by our board in February . Covid-19 has disrupted our programming, but it has given us an opportunity to examine each of our offerings and plan for the short, medium, and long term to re-shape and re-imagine every aspect of how we deliver anti-racist environmental education and conservation programs that build the strongest park community possible. This is the work that I look forward to discussing when our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee meets later this week.

We will keep you apprised of our progress and invite you to help us along the way. In the meantime, below you will find a video with a message from our staff and board, as well as some resources and partnerships that inspire us in our work.
Together, we will be better.

Donna Faure Signature
Donna Faure
Executive Director
Point Reyes National Seashore Association
Causes to Support in the Name of Black Lives Matter
Links to national groups and groups we partner with or admire locally

The video below was produced by PRNSA Diversity and Outreach Coordinator Brandon Barragan to share some of the voices from our organization. Brandon is a  Youth Outside Rising Leader Fellow  and manages our social media and Field Institute and Get to the Point programs.