Zoo program to explore anti-racism, conservation and environmental justice

September 11, 2020 - 1:15pm

New zoo program explores links between conservation and social justice

Coming this fall: a chance for middle-school students of all backgrounds to explore the close connections between conservation and social justice. The zoo's new Conservation Justice Academy is open to 6th- through 8th-graders 

Conservation and social justice are closely connected, and the Oregon Zoo is excited to offer a new opportunity for youth in our community to engage in these topics. Join us for a week-long virtual Conservation Justice Academy to learn about critical issues in anti-racism through the zoo's lens of wildlife conservation and environmental justice. Participants will participate in activities and discussions around topics such as representation, exclusion, privilege, and racism in an environment that emphasizes growth, empathy, and understanding. A diverse panel of conservationists will lead each discussion and activity. In addition to gaining a deeper understanding of how issues of equity and justice affect conservation, students will build skills in advocacy, having difficult conversations, and ally-ship to communities different than their own.

Conservation Justice Academy welcomes learners of all backgrounds who have an interest in understanding and dismantling systemic racism. Currently, we are offering this program to 6th-8th grade students.

Interested participants: please complete this questionnaire before 5 p.m. on October 5.

Two iterations of the program will be offered – Session 1 will run for five weeks with one three-hour meeting per week in October and November of 2020. Session 2 will run for one week with one three-hour meeting each day for five days in December and January of 2020-2021. Prospective participants will be asked to select their preference in the questionnaire.

Confirmed participants will be emailed a link to register and be asked to attend a virtual informational session with their caregivers prior to participating in the program to meet instructors and answer questions that the family might have. 

Session 1: Oct. 23 & 30, Nov, 6, 13, & 20, 1 - 4 pm PST
Session 2: Dec. 28 through Jan. 1, 1 - 4 pm PST

Location: A computer with Zoom access

Ages: 6th-8th grades in the 2020/21 school year

Cost: $250 per household (scholarships are available, please indicate need on the questionnaire)