Editor’s note: The following is a note that TU President and CEO Chris Wood sent to TU’s staff on Tuesday, June 2.
For 60 years, the work of Trout Unlimited has been grounded in community. Every time we bring historic adversaries together to remove a dam or restore a watershed, we build community. Every stream cleanup, kids’ camp, veterans’ trip, advocacy event, Trout in the Classroom program, local fishing day — it all creates community. But we will do more.
We’ve learned that conservation is ultimately about people engaging people in the protection of the lands and waters that sustain us — all of us together.
But across America, many of our communities are hurting. Inequities and violence undermine the basic bonds that unite us as a nation. This should trigger rigorous introspection. Introspection about what we can do as an organization to become more welcoming to more of America—what we can do to become more inclusive and more equitable.
Good comes when we listen more, understand more, and judge less — when we seek compassion and ways to help our neighbors. Good comes from building an America that truly protects the rights and freedoms of all its people.
Inequity and violence destroy. When we build community, we create.
Trout Unlimited and its 300,000 members and supporters will play an active role in efforts to build a more inclusive community across the nation. We cannot simply ignore the news, go fishing, and wait this out. Trout Unlimited will be part of the solution by addressing the inequities in our communities, and by building space for all people to participate in our mission of conserving, protecting, and restoring our watersheds.
Please go www.tu.org/equity, to learn more about how we are working to become a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization.
Thanks for everything you do!