Statement on Racially Motivated Hate, Harassment, and Violence

We are deeply saddened and angered by recent events, including the murders that occurred in Atlanta on March 16, the trial of Derek Chauvin which started this week, and the messages of white supremacy distributed in a Newport Beach community on Sunday, March 28. Rather than being overwhelmed by the increasing pace of racially motivated violence, Crystal Cove Conservancy aims to redouble our efforts to be a part of the rising tide of people and organizations taking action to stop such hate.

At Crystal Cove Conservancy, we believe social, racial, and environmental justice are inextricably linked. Equity and inclusion are core to our mission to protect access to natural spaces, restore degraded habitats and educate and inspire our next generation of environmental scientists. The traditional unceded lands of the Acjachemen and Tongva Tribal Nations comprise what we now call Crystal Cove, and we are committed to uplifting voices and perspectives that benefit the land through our collective work. The Japanese Language Schoolhouse, today part of Crystal Cove’s Historic District, was built by Japanese American farmers who were part of Laguna Beach’s community and served as a community and cultural center. These families worked the land as tenant farmers until they were forcibly removed from the land and deported to internment camps during World War II. Black, Indigenous, Latinx and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities have long led the way toward environmental justice, both here in Orange County and throughout our country.

The Conservancy stands against racially motivated violence, hate crimes and harassment in all their forms. We believe, and recent events underline, that these issues are alive in our community as well as communities around the nation – in places as far off as Atlanta and Minneapolis and as close to home as Newport Heights. We stand collectively with our community members, our staff and volunteers, and our family and friends who are Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI), Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+, Jewish, Latinx, and disabled, as well as other people who are targeted by hate, who have been historically excluded from protected lands, and who have borne the brunt of environmental degradation caused by inequitable policies.

We aim to be a part of dismantling the systems that have enabled this and to make protected lands like our park safe and accessible for all people.

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