Our Commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion
Bat Conservation International (BCI) is deeply committed to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI). We are focused on addressing these issues authentically and are committed to organizational transformation.
BCI fully acknowledges the existence of systemic racism here and around the world. In the United States, our country has a long history of marginalizing and oppressing people of color and has experienced a traumatic racial history that includes slavery, Jim Crow laws, redlining, mass incarceration of people of color, forced relocation of Native Americans from ancestral homelands, Japanese-American internment, and more.
BCI further acknowledges that the conservation movement has revered leaders with a history of racist behavior and largely excluded people of color from its staff, boards, and memberships. The movement also has failed to focus on and provide resources to environmental issues that affect marginalized and oppressed communities. Traditional non-profit culture has made it challenging for talented people of diverse backgrounds to belong, hold leadership roles, and contribute to effective solutions.
To address these challenges, BCI is working to embed JEDI-centered practices in both our conservation work and our organizational culture. We are dedicated to creating equitable partnerships, achieving positive ecological and social impact at scale, and diversifying our organization and the conservation movement.
BCI is working actively toward progress. In the past year, BCI has:
- Developed and piloted a process for embedding JEDI considerations into our conservation planning and practices. This includes a commitment to building trust, co-creating conservation projects with communities, and using inclusive practices.
- Initiated regular opportunities for learning and conversation among BCI staff in an effort to build organizational capacity for JEDI work.
- Developed and implemented an internal course for our staff that explores the connections between systemic racism and the history of the conservation movement.
- Provided empathy coaching for our board and senior staff to develop skills in assessing for needs, listening, and creating psychological safety in the work environment.
- Reinvented our hiring processes to reduce bias and ensure inclusivity in both hiring and retaining talented people from diverse backgrounds.
BCI is determined to be an employer of choice and believes that the best organizational performance will come from a safe and inclusive work environment where everyone feels they can bring their whole selves to work and can contribute to and challenge the organization with their best thinking. This safe and inclusive environment will extend to people of all backgrounds, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs.
BCI commits to being a partner of choice around the globe. We understand that every region in the world is experiencing their own systems of oppression. We commit to sharing our resources and power, demonstrating cultural humility, creating positive ecological and social outcomes, and making every effort to leave partner organizations and community partners better off.
BCI fully understands that this work is inherently challenging and will take time and sustained resolve. We will make mistakes and experience discomfort along the way. We acknowledge that failure will be a necessary part of progress.
We invite you to help us identify those failures and hold us accountable to our commitments.
The beauty and splendor of nature belongs to all of us, and our most pressing environmental challenges, from global climate change to the biodiversity crisis, affect everyone. We hope you will join us in solidarity as we take this journey toward creating a healthier planet and a more just and equitable world.