Women in Conservation Leadership Summit to Feature First Lady of Palau, Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant

National Wildlife Federation Virtual Event to Focus on Structural Racism and the Conservation Movement.

RESTON, Va. (October 13, 2020) — The 2020 Women in Conservation Leadership Summit, which opens today and will be held virtually until October 15, will focus on racial equity and justice, centering its trainings and sessions on understanding structural racism and its centrality in the conservation movement. The event, hosted by the National Wildlife Federation, will include addresses by speakers, such as Debbie Remengesau, the First Lady of Palau; Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant, a large carnivore ecologist; and All We Can Save editors, Dr. Ayana Johnson and Dr. Katharine Wilkinson.

“For too long, the conservation and feminist movements — including events like the Women in Conservation Leadership Summit — have been distinctly white. We cannot correct these challenges through one single event, but we can center women of color and lay important groundwork through building racial equity competencies that start to address this problem,” said Hilary Falk, chief program officer at the National Wildlife Federation. “Through our 2020 virtual summit, we aim to provide a space where all women can come together — even in these challenging times — to share their unique experiences and points of view. By lifting each other up and honoring everyone’s voices, we will learn how to better support conservation leaders across the country.”

“With over 650 women registered, it is our pleasure to see women from all backgrounds responding to the Women in Conservation Leadership Summit in such an enthusiastic and positive way,” said Whitney Tome, who serves as the co-chair for the Women in Conservation Leadership advisory council. “We welcome and applaud this rapid growth in our network of women, who join every summit with the determination to step into their power and learn how to better lead and serve their communities. By centering this year’s program on understanding the role that systemic racism plays in conservation, we will take a step toward an actual equitable and inclusive conservation movement, with room for a diversity of voices and experiences.”

The summit will spotlight the need to center, support, and resource Black, Indigenous and People of Color, while also fostering allyship education for white women and identifying ways all women can lift each other up. It will feature sessions on:

  • The Art of Negotiation in the World of Conservation
  • Intersectionality and the Changing Face of the Conservation Movement
  • Lifting Women Up the Leadership Ladder
  • Native Women’s Leadership in Conservation

Women in Conservation Leadership was started four years ago by a group of dedicated individuals, and it has grown into a dynamic network and community of diverse women who are committed to leading change in conservation. More than 650 women from 15 different nations have registered for this year’s summit. Learn more about the Women in Conservation Leadership Summit by visiting wcl.nwf.org.

In this space, the term “women” stands for women, femme/feminine-identifying, genderqueer and non-binary individuals who have historically been excluded from the environmental space.

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