Friday, March 24, 2023

NYC Audubon Society changing name due to ‘white supremacy’ legacy

They’re bidding it Audu-bon voyage. After months of deliberation, New York City Audubon decided to change its name, citing founder John James Audubon’s legacy of white supremacy.

The ornithology-devoted organization announced the bombshell development on its website and in an email sent to members.

“NYC Audubon’s Board of Directors has today announced its decision to change the organization’s name, dropping ‘Audubon,’ ” NYC Audubon Executive Director Jessica Wilson wrote in the email to supporters.

She added that the nonprofit will begin a process to develop a new name that “embodies our organizational values” and is “inclusive and welcoming to all New Yorkers.”

The Audubon-ban marked the culmination of an eight-month-long assessment that deemed the surname to be a “barrier to entry for many into the organization.”

While the nonprofit acknowledged that the naturalist’s contributions to art and ornithology are “significant” and fostered “an appreciation of nature and conservation ethos” in the US, they deemed his views and actions toward “people of color and Indigenous people” to be “harmful and offensive.”

While they didn’t list his specific problematic views, the naturalist’s family owned enslaved people during the early part of the 19th century. Audubon was also infamously critical of the abolitionist moment on both sides of the pond. In an 1834 letter to his wife Lucy Bakewell Audubon, Audubon declared that the British government had “acted imprudently and too precipitously” in emancipating enslaved people in its West Indian colony.

Naturally, Audubon grappled with the potential cost of jettisoning the name of the organization, which has amassed 10,000 members since its founding in 1979, the New York Times reported.

While the nonprofit acknowledged that the naturalist's contributions to ornithology are "significant" and fostered "an appreciation of nature and conservation ethos" in the US, they deemed his views and actions toward black people and indigenous people "harmful and offensive."





Stan B said...

And now the damn is open, and membership in the NY "Not the Audubon Society" will skyrocket, right?

Anonymous said...

Nobody is perfect and yet that is the standard they are now setting. Might as well just rename anything that is named after a person or group because none will meet this ridiculous new standard.

Bird of Paradise said...

They might as well since they have forgoten their legacy of saving Birds and are into the stupid idea of Wind Turbines and Solar Panels and tried to replace the Great Egret with Blue Flag Logo