Plant Talk

Reflection and Action: A Garden for All

Posted in on June 18, 2020, by Carrie Rebora Barratt, Ph.D.

For more than a century, The New York Botanical Garden has been known for its welcoming, peaceful landscape. Today, as we work to reopen after an unprecedented closure, we are committed to ensuring that the Botanical Garden is truly welcoming for all.

The national crisis of systemic racial injustice painfully being brought to light compels us to do more as an institution. We agree that Black Lives Matter, and we pledge that racism will not be allowed to have a place at NYBG.

With a renewed focus and greater awareness in the wake of what has transpired in the country during our closure, we are committing to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in all that we do. We know the path ahead may not always be smooth, but ensuring an inclusive environment for all is a priority. We want our staff, colleagues, and visitors to see themselves represented.

We have been heartened to hear from many of our employees in recent weeks who have presented thoughtful ideas on ways to address this crisis. We are listening and we are taking action.

We will:

  • Continue the implementation of our DEI plan developed by our staff working group and approved by our Board DEI Committee in 2019;
  • Elevate the Board DEI group to a formal Committee of the Corporation to ensure accountability;
  • Require all staff members to take professional conduct training with a focus on cultural competency, under the direction of our Chief Diversity Officer;
  • Partner with outside experts to help us develop specific standards, policies, and programs that make our commitment to DEI clear;
  • Build our capacity for providing diverse content to the public through our website, in our programs and classes, in our scientific research, and in our interpretive materials throughout the Garden.

As we continue our commitment to protect and preserve the planet’s biodiversity and educate the next generation of Earth’s caregivers, we will strive to do so in a manner that is inclusive and welcoming for all.

Carrie Rebora Barratt, Ph.D.
CEO & William C. Steere Sr. President

Follow @NYBG