I'm honoured to be featured on eBird's home page

Update: On August 4-2020 Team eBird let me know that they have had 48 applicants from 16 different countries including Cambodia, Namibia and Cuba. It is so exciting to know that after the vetting process there will be more BIPOC reviewers!

I am honoured to be the first eBird reviewer to ever be featured on the main home page eBird.org

This is part of a new "eBird Reviewer Spotlight" series. They asked me to speak on the lack of diversity and race in birding and I have done so.

Check it out at ebird.org or direct link HERE.

They also added it to their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.

I am grateful to Team eBird for amplifying Black voices in birding and to not use the excuse based in privilege that it is a "political issue."

eBird has also put up a "volunteer sign up review form" to help create a more diverse eBird review team. Skilled Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) birders are highly encouraged to apply.

Comments

  1. Hi Melissa~ I just read your spotlight and want to thank you for 1) your work as a volunteer ebird reviewer, and 2) speaking out on behalf of diversity and inclusiveness in the outdoors, particularly birding. Since becoming an ebirder, I have always made an effort to thank my reviewers for all they do to keep ebird data valid. And, as a white birder and nature center executive director, I know I need to do more to help ensure that all people are welcomed into our community. I have learned and grown SO MUCH in the past several weeks! Birds, and nature in general, are for ALL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your kind words it really means a lot to me. Thanks for reading the article and thanks for being a nature executive director that is passionate about equality in the birding landscape. This makes all the difference to BIPOC birders.

      Delete
  2. Shou Ye GauthierJuly 8, 2020 at 4:25 PM

    Congratulations on the feature and thank you for sharing your experiences. I hope that we see more BIPOC involved visibly in the birding community.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and for posting your thoughtful words let's hope change is coming.

      Delete
  3. Dear Melissa, I just read your story on ebird's home page. I enjoyed it! racism does not not bring joy! i know it from personal experience being an indigenous man. my father was wet'suwet'en and my mother was from nadleh whut'en, a community at the eastern end of fraser lake, bc, canada. remember the summer tanager last fall at fraser lake? my grandfather was born on an island in francois Lake! i travelled from hazelton to kitimat to see the gray-tailed tattler thanks to your blog. the issues you raise in the article are so important for ebirders to take to heart! It is my hope that they do and change for the better if it is necessary! what is more, i want to acknowledge ebird for their timely and appropriate choice of you to start their new spotlight series!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Larry I am really touched by your thoughtful words I'm
      Sorry you have experienced racism as well. I know how poorly indigenous are treated in this country. My sister who was adopted is also indigenous and so I know the pain. I'm deeply moved by your words. Thank you. Also I'm glad the rare bird alert helped you to see that beautiful Gray-tailed tattler. Thanks again.

      Delete
  4. Yeah Melissa! You are an awesome black woman birder and glad to see you speaking truth to big audiences!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks steve for your support it really means a lot!!

      Delete
  5. I loved reading your article on ebird. It was great and I liked that ebird was highlighting this and asking for a call to action.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much yes it is really great to see EBird has stepped up in this manner. They were not afraid to accept criticism and not afraid to change. Everyone can do better and it takes courage to admit it and to challenge yourself and not hide behind "it's too political"

      Delete
  6. Marian Pierre-LouisJuly 9, 2020 at 4:54 AM

    I love what you wrote on ebird. I stand with you and i will no longer remain silent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Marian that truly means a lot to me.

      Delete
  7. Congratulations Mel on being featured on eBird. You deserve the recognition for all your contributions to the birding community. Kudos to you and Team eBird for spreading your powerful message.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Melissa
    No one deserves this honour more than you. You are championing so many causes all at once. We all need to stand/act together to stamp out the racism and discrimination in the birding community and in society in general. Keep up the excellent work as an E-bird reviewer but more importantly as an advocate and agent of change for BIPOC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you so much ken for your very kind words it means so very much to me and thank you for caring about this important issue.

      Delete
  9. So well deserved Mel. Thanks for giving these important issues the spotlight, and thanks for everything that you do for the birding community!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you liron! it is youth like you that are my constant inspiration. looking forward to birding with you tomorrow.

      Delete
  10. It is so awesome to see you as the first featured reviewer on the ebird spotlight series. I am very happy to see ebird and other birding organizations starting to make changes to become more inclusive and take a stand against racism and other forms of discrimination. As a white gender queer person I commit to standing up against racism whenever I can. I have learnt so much from you, the Black Lives Matter movement, and Black Birders Week to name a few. Thank you. One thing that is clear, white people can end racism! Good birding to you mel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you so much ren for your deeply thoughtful comment. your words really mean a lot to me and most importantly thank you for standing up against racism in your community. deeply honoured to hear you have learnt something from little ol' me :).

      Delete
  11. Thank you for your story. Your message -- "For people of all races and genders to be able to have the same positive experiences while birding, we need to be able to talk openly about the problems Black, Indigenous and Persons of Colour (BIPOC) face." -- gave me the push I needed to leave a birding group that would not lift up/publish the voices of BIPOC birders talking about their experiences. I've since started a state group where these conversations can take place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you I'm deeply honoured my message got through to you . I'm so sorry that you had to deal with a birding group who was so unprogressive. I definitely know the feeling from some personal experiences. You should be proud of yourself for starting a state group where everyone will feel included. You are on the right side of history and in time these people who don't want to move forward in equality will be left behind.

      Delete
  12. So very happy for you that you had this opportunity to be recognized for your dedication and service to the BC Birding community and particularly your courageous activism for social justice and equality. I know it has not been an easy road. For too many white people, it is more comfortable to bury heads in the sand about the unequal (and at times toxic and dangerous) experiences that BIPOC and others face in the environments we cherish. The conversations that needed to happen years ago were suppressed by people who preferred to cater to white fragility rather than protect those who have been harmed. I hope your letter serves as a call to action to birding communities - and each of us as members - to redouble our efforts not only to welcome new voices but to reject those who would silence them. It's the only way we can build a community that we all deserve.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you so much for your words they mean a lot to me. You have nailed it on the head. the Silencing of BIPOC as you said is a long standing racial problem in our society. We need to call this behavior out and protect and support those vulnerable in our birding communities. Some BIPOC birders have been called out as ungrateful when they try to speak out about injustices they have faced. I am glad the conversations are finally happening and some are now forced to listen... if they like it or not. Time is changing and the new generation of birders are bringing diversity and hope and taking their rightful place in the natural world where they traditionally held little to no power. The birding community will be better for it.

      Delete
  13. I loved reading your statement on eBird! Congratulations on being the first reviewer to be chosen for this feature!

    ReplyDelete
  14. AlexaClassFreemanJuly 14, 2020 at 11:52 AM

    I am truly inspired by what you have shared and pleased to see Ebird taking a stand to highlight your experience. It is a wonderful thing to have BIPOC leaders, particularly women, speaking openly about their experiences. Further, your history nurturing the next generation of birders and Nature enthusiasts, with a willingness to share your perspectives and experiences, exemplifies a great way we can support and enact change. I stand with your strength and in solidarity with your active leadership. Thank you for all that you share and for your voice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Alexa for your beautiful words. I'm truly touched. Thank you I'm moved I inspired you.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts

Dowitcher Identification

STINT IDENTIFICATION

Hawk Identification Tips from every angle (Sharpie vs Cooper and Red-tailed Subspecies)

*UPDATED* The First Ever Black Birders Week May 31-June 5th

Smith Island Tufted Puffins Trip!