Statement on National Audubon’s Decision to Keep the Name Audubon

This morning National Audubon announced that they decided to keep the name Audubon, despite John James Audubon’s history as a slaveholder and person who stole skulls from the graves of Native Americans. This decision is disappointing and damaging, showing disregard to the communities of color and allies, including National Audubon’s own union staff, who have openly expressed that the name is harmful and a barrier to our important work. 

Portland Audubon is committed to changing our name, as we announced two weeks ago. Without National Audubon’s leadership we will undergo our own naming process, asking for feedback from members, partners, volunteers, donors, and the larger community to find a name that accurately represents our values and mission. We as a chapter aren’t alone. Other chapters that have announced their decision to change their name include Seattle, WA, Madison, WI, Chicago, IL, and Washington, D.C.

Please stay tuned for more information on our name change process and how you can provide direct input. We are excited to find a name that creates a space of belonging for all people, and accurately reflects our work to inspire all people to love and protect birds and their habitat.