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Moving forward: increasing racial diversity in birding

The 2015 issue of Birder’s Guide to Conservation & Community features two articles about expanding the appeal of birding to a non-white audience. David Lindo addresses the importance of making nature accessible to a wide swath of the public in “Opening the Door”.

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And Rue Mapp continues the conversation by stressing the importance of focusing on positive steps forward (rather than dwelling on the past) in her timely essay, “Beyond Diversity Shaming: Lasting Change Is More Than Skin Deep“.


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What do you think? Do you agree that “diversity shaming” can be counterproductive by demoralizing ourselves and leading us away from the discussion of “how” to move forward? I’m especially interested in hearing members’ thoughts on what future steps can be taken to move us further down the path toward a more racially diverse birding community–one that looks more like the ABA Area as a whole. Please, share your thoughts!

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Michael Retter
Michael L. P. Retter is the editor of the ABA's newest magazine, Birder's Guide, and the author of The ABA Field Guide to Birds of Illinois. When not at home gardening, Michael is often leading tours for BRANT Nature Tours in Middle America (Mexico through Panama). He currently lives with his husband, Matt, in Fort Worth, Texas. Michael also runs QBNA, the continent's informal club for LGBTQ+ birders. A former chair of the Indiana records committee, he is an eBird reviewer for Mexico, Illinois, and Indiana.
Michael Retter

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