From the Eagle Eye Institute Board and Staff
June 5th, 2020
Eagle Eye Institute was founded in 1991 by Hampshire College alum Anthony Sanchez to connect youth from underserved urban communities to the beauty of nature.
Thirty years on, people of color still experience deep-seated and systemic barriers in the outdoor and environmental sphere. There is a huge disparity in who participates in outdoor recreation and holds environmental leadership positions; frontline communities bear the burden of environmental hazards and the effects of climate change; and as we have seen time and again, it is not universally safe for Black and Brown people to access outdoor spaces as it is for most White people.
Eagle Eye has been doing its part to address these disparities and inequities with a diverse group of committed partners, many of whom understand their privilege and use it to help open doors of opportunity through a deeper connection with nature. We renew our commitment to this work now.
We will center and learn from the voices of BIPOC-led organizations and environmental leaders. We will work to dismantle racism and White supremacy in ourselves, our organization, our partnerships, and our community. We will hold nature up as a solution, a basic human right, a great connector, and our common home.
We believe everyone has a right to a healthy environment and a positive relationship with nature. That’s not possible in a system where Black and Brown people aren’t safe or respected. The movements for social justice and the protection of the environment are inextricably linked. We need nature, nature needs us, and we need each other.
In this moment, people of all backgrounds are coming together to demand change. Young people are speaking up in large numbers. This widespread mobilization and engagement is a source of inspiration and energy during this time. The momentum can go forward to create the profound and lasting change we need. We are committed to this work. We are in it with you.