The year 2020 with its global pandemic and the tragic death of George Floyd has brought many critical societal issues to light. While neither is unique to the year, the global attention made possible through modern day communications presents us an opportunity to join together to address them head on.
As an African father and an African leader, I speak with conviction for young Africans growing up in every corner of the world, when I say they all deserve the chance to live without fear because of how we look. I also speak out on behalf of people of color who are disproportionately discriminated against because of the color of their skin. This is not unique to one part of the world but it is shockingly on display right now.
As human beings, we each deserve a right not only to live but to thrive. As an African-led, African-based global conservation organization, this belief is at the core of our values, mission and vision. Thus, we condemn all forms of discrimination.
Human rights are a fundamental principle of our work. As such, African Wildlife Foundation stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement. We are committed to work to end discrimination in all forms including race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or age. As an organization we are also committed to fighting injustices affecting marginalized communities where we work, including ending inequitable access to and benefit from nature, fighting climate change which will disproportionately affect African countries, creating space for women and youth in conservation leadership — and much more.
We realize that a culture of cohesion and unity must be woven in order to erode the archaic discrimination that is still pervasive in all too many societies. AWF remains committed to doing our part to end violence and discrimination and ensure human rights are recognized and restored as we work toward safeguarding our African wildlife, wild lands, and communities through sustainable and equitable socio-economic development.
As an organization that is strongly present in US and with a large number of US supporters, partners and friends, as the AWF family we will lead by example by becoming intentional about cultivating the values of equality, integrity, inclusion, empowerment, and leadership in our offices and in every aspect of our daily work.
And finally, I hope these same values will be nurtured by each of us as individuals.
Together we can make this world a better place for all living things.