Orion denounces racism in all its forms. The violent legacy of white supremacy, made even more tragically visible by the coronavirus pandemic and recent police brutalities, is intolerable. Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many others deserve more than justice; they deserve to be alive. Orion’s mission is to invite readers into a community of caring for the planet and to inspire new thinking about how humanity might live on Earth justly, sustainably, and joyously. This must include Black lives. Black lives matter.
We unequivocally support people’s rights to freedom of speech and to assemble. There is a lot to say and a lot around which to assemble. White supremacy, we’re continually learning, is deeply embedded in the land for which we advocate and the literature that we think of as environmental. Climate change and police brutality both stem from a blatant disregard of life, and it is abundantly clear that both disproportionately affect Black communities. We acknowledge that Orion, as a historically white-led, white-staffed organization with a historically white readership, has failed to address that truth. We must do better.
We are committed to becoming an anti-racist organization; to using our platforms and privilege to amplify the voices of people of color; and to celebrating the rich and longstanding traditions of nature writing and art from BIPOC voices. In the coming months, we’ll investigate and define what anti-racism looks like in our institution. This will undoubtedly include a continuing increase in the diversity of Orion’s writers and artists, but must also permeate all facets of our mission and business in order to enact lasting change. This is a starting point.
Our efforts will be guided by the work of BIPOC readers, writers, and artists, whose stories, art, and experience have always held fast to the earth – you can email our editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also encourage our readers and donors to seek out and support Black-led, Black-serving environmental organizations, a small selection of which is listed below:
Farming While Black/Soulfire Farm