We’re Celebrating Pride Month, With Pride

By Mike Stevens, Washington State Director

Seattle’s Pride Parade is coming up Sunday, June 25, and I’m proud to say that the Washington Chapter of The Nature Conservancy will be there—for the fourth year in a row. We’ll be marching in the parade, and we’ll have a booth in the celebration at Seattle Center.

I’m so proud of our staff, our trustees and our volunteers for making this commitment.

Two of the Conservancy’s core values are “respect for people, communities and cultures” and “commitment to diversity.”

A rainbow flag at the 2016 Pride parade in Seattle. Photo by Pallavi Shoroff.

We are mindful that there are many parts of the United States and the world where the Conservancy works that LGBTQ people still face open and legal prejudice.

Participating in the Pride celebration demonstrates that we are an inclusive organization and that we value diversity and equal rights for all—for our staff, trustees, members, volunteers and the wider human community.

This is not just the right thing to do, but it’s also crucial to achieve our conservation mission in a rapidly changing world.

Marchers at the 2016 Pride parade in Seattle. Photo by Pallavi Shoroff

The complex global challenges to nature and people require us to find innovative solutions—that means we need all people bringing their ideas to the table—we can’t afford to leave anyone out. This is a moral imperative and a profound organizational requirement. We must attract and retain talented and passionate leaders and practitioners—from all backgrounds and identities.

For me personally, our participation in the Pride celebration is a way to show my support and care for every person who works, volunteers and partners with us, as well as for beloved friends and relatives. I am proud and thankful to be able to do so.

March With Us in Sunday's Pride Parade