A Message from the FNPS Board of Directors

Martin Luther King’s quote from the 1960’s is still relevant today. The arc is still long, and sometimes its direction is uncertain. However, it is apparent that we cannot expect that the arc will bend on its own. We have to make it bend, and every action helps.

How does this relate to the Florida Native Plant Society? Recently, we’ve heard from many of our members and friends, mostly in support of our position of condemnation of racial injustice and a commitment to further inclusion in our membership. We are heartened that so many of you care about this topic. Others expressed concern that this issue is not relevant to our mission and purpose. While social and racial justice is not our mission, it is just as relevant to our membership as it is to our society as a whole.

We know that environmental issues including conservation and climate change are deeply entwined with social justice issues, as disenfranchised communities are often the most affected by harmful environmental policies. We acknowledge the importance of representation in our membership by people who are directly affected by the positive work that we do and we wish to increase our understanding of the conservation needs of underserved communities.

If you are not yet a member of the Florida Native Plant Society, please consider joining us and inviting your friends. Together, we will work towards greater diversity and inclusion while we continue to carry out our mission: to promote the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida.


Marian Ryan said…
I’m proud to be a member!
June said…
This is the kind of organization I want to be a part of. Thank you
Linda Eastman said…
Thank you for saying this as it needed articulation. I was more than dismayed upon learning that the venue selected for our 2019 conference was called The Plantation and brought it to the attention of FNPS following the conference. African-Americans make up very small minority of our Martin County membership—not surprising when we appear to be tone-deaf to obvious symbolism of past cruelties. Hopefully this recognition will help us be more cognizant of the many ways our ingrained behaviors and accepted habits affect those around us and help us toward a more inclusive society. We need everyone to accomplish our mission.
Susan E. Earley said…
I’m so excited to see this. There is so much need for reaching out to all our neighbors. Diversity is just as crucial to creating a welcoming environment for people as it is for the birds and butterflies and all the pollinators and other creatures in our world.
Steven Provost said…
Thank you for taking an appropriate stand. We all must stand up for the rights of all not just white America.
Steven Bursey said…
I have been considering becoming a member for some time but after reading this message from the board I knew it was now time to join. Thank you for taking a stand. I look forward to being an active member.

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