Following the election, I sent the message below to Sky Island Alliance staff and board members. I’m sharing it with you now, hoping the message brings you encouragement too. Whatever your political leanings, the new administration will clearly present challenges to environmental conservation and funding for cross-border collaboration. We have a lot of work to do in the coming months and years to safeguard the landscapes and wildlife we work so hard to protect and ensure science-based conservation and cross-border cooperation remains at the forefront in the Sky Island Region. With your support, I know that Sky Island Alliance will continue to be a highly effective organization and powerful voice for years to come!
Dear staff and board,
It’s been a challenging couple of days for me, processing the election results and what it potentially means for Sky Island Alliance and for me personally. I’m sure I’m not alone in wrestling with my feelings about this and thinking through what it may mean for our work. I woke up crestfallen yesterday and feeling a great sense of uncertainty about what the future holds. As the day wore on, and I had some uplifting conversations with wonderful staff and board members and supporters of the organization, I began to feel a comforting sense of community and a strengthening resolve that Sky Island Alliance must continue to be a strong voice for civility, diversity, and the natural world. There is no doubt that this election will affect our work. In the coming years, some of our approaches will need to be responsive to what happens with the new administration, but it will remain essential that we be a local leader in envisioning, protecting, and creating the type of world that we, and so many of our supporters, want to live in.
I remain deeply committed to continuing to be a voice for the amazing animals, plants, creeks, and mountains that are not able to speak for themselves and to treating my fellow humans with respect and dignity. My work and life is enriched by interacting with our diverse staff and board, and the amazing people who live in and visit the Sky Islands. I’m proud to be a part of Sky Island Alliance as we bring people together, connect them with nature, and build unity across borders to conserve our natural treasures. I want to share with all of you that in conversations with donors over the past few weeks I’ve been pleasantly surprised to hear how much our donors appreciate our crossborder work and engagement with young people in Mexico and the U.S. Our crossborder work will become increasingly important in the coming years, as will our efforts to work on conservation in a way that engages and uplifts local communities. Thanks to our collective efforts and creative approaches we are poised to continue to grow this important work in 2017.
Diversity and inclusion are essential to Sky Island Alliance’s culture and to achieving our mission. Our differences – in thought, style, culture, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, and experience – make us stronger, and the organization remains committed to building a diverse and inclusive work environment. I want to say a heartfelt thank you to all of you for your good work to make this world a place we want to live and to make space in this world for the diversity of life that so enriches our existence. I can’t think of a better group of people to be continuing this essential work with over the coming years.
More to come as we see how things shape up for 2017. In the meantime, thank you all again for your work and commitment to conservation. I am grateful to be a part of such important work with such wonderful people.
Remember, this is your Alliance. Please make a donation to the Sky Island Hope Fund. Your gift is an investment in a brighter future for the Sky Islands you love. Choose the option to give monthly, and you can rest assured that your commitment helps sustain our work through the challenging times ahead.