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A letter to our community: SSWG values diversity, inclusion, justice, and equity

2 June 2020

Dear members of SSWG, 

At this time of global unrest and insecurity, we reflect upon our SSWG values of Respect, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Transparency, which we firmly believe cannot co-exist alongside racism, discrimination, oppression, and other acts of injustice and inequity. Given our parent organization, the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) and many of our SSWG Board Members are based in the U.S., we also reflect on current events to clearly and unequivocally state: Black lives matter. 

As a collection of social scientists, the SSWG and our work aims to give voice to peoples of the world in the context of conservation. Our work also advances SCB’s mission to promote a world where people understand, value, and conserve the diversity of life on Earth. Yet conservation is still dominated by white faces and voices, which means our work is far from over. 

We rise to the challenge and stand in solidarity with our fellow sisters and brothers who have always spoken up about the injustices of the world. The chorus has recently grown louder, with new voices joining those who have carried the burden for far too long in challenging the systems that perpetuate injustices. Countless communities worldwide have experienced generations of anxiety, fear, harassment, loss of opportunity, and more due to discrimination that we can no longer tolerate. 

We all carry this responsibility. We must use our power and privilege - in whatever form we have them - to actively support efforts to honor the voices and lives of marginalized groups, and acknowledge, challenge, and dismantle systems of injustice within conservation, our institutions, and communities. 

As the SSWG grapples with how to expand and improve our efforts, we are sharing resources and ideas from partner organizations (lists below) on these topics. We welcome your ideas and relevant resources (using this google form) to help further build our capacity to meet the needs of different audiences. 

We recognize and honor you - and thank you for choosing to be part of SSWG.

Rina Hauptfeld, SSWG President
Alia Dietsch, SSWG Secretary
Ashley Dayer, SSWG Past President


Resources and actions to take:

Readings and Resources:


Other resources:


Connect with SSWG


Twitter:              @SCB_SSWG, #consocsci