Veterans Day is a day for all Americans to stand united in honoring our veterans for defending the personal freedoms that define our country.
This past week, through the very democracy our veterans defend, our country voted in record numbers and elected a new president and vice president, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
We acknowledge that the Biden-Harris team might not be your candidates of choice. But I ask you to celebrate with me the incredible engagement our citizens showed on election day. More people voted this year than have ever voted in the history of this country. And that’s a wonderful thing.
With Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris, we have elected our first woman, our first woman of color, and a daughter of immigrants to the executive branch. Today, on Veterans Day, Laguna Canyon Foundation celebrates America’s rich diversity and we acknowledge that there has been a lack of opportunity for many of our fellow Americans based on race, gender and religion.
We are proud of the work we are doing to protect our natural world and we continue our commitment to justice, equality, diversity and inclusion. Environmental racism has no place on our planet. As I wrote earlier this year, our initiatives include, but certainly are not limited to, amplifying melanated voices, committing to staff and board diversity, and providing opportunities for the BIPOC community.
Specifically, we continue to work with our Santa Ana Unified School District elementary schools and, once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, we will bring our students, 96% of whom are Hispanic, 60% of whom are English-as-second-language learners, back to the trails.
We are partnering with a local college to implement a paid internship program for a diverse group of ecology students.
And we continue to proactively seek like-minded partners with whom we can contract to achieve our shared goals, and who respect all workers with opportunity and fair wages.
We’re doing good work out in our wilderness, protecting wildlife and our native species so that this amazing wilderness stays healthy and open for all of us and for future generations to cherish. And the thing I am most proud of is the way our amazing team continues to show up for our Canyon, for our diverse and passionate community and for the creatures that depend on us to protect their homes.
On this day, more than any other, thank you to the veterans who’ve sacrificed so much to make this diverse and passionate community – and the diverse viewpoints that go along with it – possible.