Trumpeter Swans / Heather Roskelley / Audubon Photography Awards
*Content Warning: sexual violence*
Seattle Audubon was shocked, angered, and saddened to learn of sexual misconduct allegations, made courageously by Aisha White, against a prominent member of the national birding community in Georgia, Jason Ward. We unequivocally condemn violence of any kind and stand in solidarity with victims. We further acknowledge our support for the countless survivors of sexual assault for whom this event has been retraumatizing.
Seattle Audubon strives to create a safe and inclusive community for all to experience birds and nature. We want our members and the public to know that Seattle Audubon is taking preventative action to:
- Refine our own processes for training volunteers,
- Improve our methods for reporting harassment, and
- Evaluate other ways to increase safety for program participants, staff, and volunteers.
We are further appalled at the continuing reports of misconduct by others within the birding community across the country. It is clearly incumbent on all of us to work swiftly and thoughtfully to address the wider systems and power structures that create environments where harassment, coercion, and violence are all too common an occurrence.
Media contact: Community Engagement Manager, Wendy Walker, (206) 523-8243 ext. 110 | firstname.lastname@example.org