In Solidarity

Black Lives Matter. The targeting of birder and Audubon board member Christian Cooper in New York Central Park; the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery; the unfair economic hardship and disproportionate health impacts on communities of color from the COVID-19 crisis — each of these stand as stark reminders of the ways structural inequality and institutionalized racism prevent us from working together to build a more equitable and resilient society.  Many of our neighbors are awakening to something that you probably already knew: Far too many Californians suffer injustice and are excluded from opportunity based on the color of their skin. More importantly, a growing chorus of people are finally saying “enough!”

The California Native Plant Society joins countless others in reaffirming our commitment to inclusion and equity. We unequivocally condemn violence against Black people and oppose outdated and racist systems that enable that violence. We believe California’s incredible human diversity is key to our shared efforts to celebrate, protect, and restore this state’s unparalleled natural diversity. Together, we restate our ongoing commitment to fighting against racial inequality and working for environmental justice, that we may all enjoy a just and safe Society that is as inclusive and diverse as our state.

We invite you to join us in conversation, and join together in real and sustained action, as we make sure the future is more fair and more beautiful than what we leave behind.


Special thanks to Coyote Brush Studios for allowing us to re-use their artwork.


  1. Thank you, LIv, for reminding us that our endeavors in support of native plant diversity are based, most fundamentally, on the needs shared by all of humanity.

    1. Thanks for the shout-out, Michael, but I’m happy to report that this message was crafted by our Executive Director Dan Gluesenkamp and our Board of Directors. CNPS staff and leadership stand together behind this statement and appreciate all that *you* are doing in support.

      1. I’m delighted to hear that Dan and the Board of Directors also had a direct hand in writing that beautiful and important message on behalf of your entire CNPS team – again, you all inspire us to do “the right thing”. Ten years ago, the original inspiration for rescuing the abandoned 1/2-acre of native plantings that had been overgrown with weeds for a decade – which we’ve been calling the Native/Environmental/Xeriscape/Temescal/Garden (N/E/X/T/Garden) since its increase to a 3/4-acre area seven years ago – was to show people how beautiful and sustainable native plants could be in a public garden so that they might bring (more) natives into their home gardens. Over the last decade, however, we have discovered an additional source of inspiration: the diverse and ever-changing group of monthly volunteers who have helped sustain this effort – hands-on – while engaging us in conversations about how to heal everything and everyone who lives on our small planet. In the course of restoring and expanding a native plant garden and wildlife habitat, we have been restoring and expanding our human community as well…together.

  2. Thank you. Let’s continue to pursue this issue over the very long haul to get things going in the right direction.

  3. Thank you Liv and team. This is leadership! With ever greater climate change disasters looming on the horizon, we may have this one moment in history to get back on track to learn how to live in peace and harmony with one another, and with respect and care for all living things. May it be so.

  4. Committing to sustained action is wonderful! What concrete actions is CNPS taking to reduce inequality within the society? What is the racial diversity of the staff and leadership? What support does the Society offer to black members of its community? How will the Society work to elevate black and brown voices moving forward?

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