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Missouri Botanical Garden: A Letter to the Community

We have all been deeply shocked and saddened by the injustices, inequalities, discrimination, violence and deaths that we continue to witness.  These are tragedies from which we will struggle to recover.  We wonder how can we emerge with optimism into a new world where we individually and collectively can play an ever-increasingly important part in improving the lives of people and the environment in St. Louis, in our nation, and around the world.  Nevertheless, we all believe that we must continue to strive to ensure that the Missouri Botanical Garden will always be a welcoming meeting and gathering place for all in our community, a place of tranquility, beauty, learning, accessibility, integrity, respect, diversity, and equal opportunity.

For us, diversity and inclusion is what gives us our strength – diversity in all its forms, whether it is amongst our staff, volunteers, and visitors; the communities and countries with which we partner at home and around the world; and the immense diversity of plants and their habitats that we study, work to understand, and conserve. The diversity of all we do in our lives, our actions, our experiences, and our roles is at the core of what makes the Garden the great institution it is.  We believe that while we can (and must) always do better, where equality, diversity, and inclusion are cherished and are fundamental to the foundations on which we build. But to do this successfully we must continue to question our own behaviors, our biases, and consider what may stand in the way of being a more understanding and inclusive Garden.

That is why we will and we ask all of you to do everything you can in your lives and work, to think deeply about the ways in which we can build a new and better tomorrow for our communities, our Garden, and for the myriad of species with which we share this fragile planet.  It is a worthy and essential goal and an ongoing task.

Dr Peter Wyse Jackson

President, Missouri Botanical Garden

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