Chapter leaders and college students from across North Carolina descended on Milwaukee for the 2019 Audubon Convention in July, joining more than 600 attendees to celebrate birds and learn how to better organize and advocate for our feathered friends.
The theme of the five-day convention was “Audubon for Everyone,” highlighted by a plenary speech from National Audubon Society Chief Executive David Yarnold. Yarnold spoke about the power of being inclusive and how diversity is a critical part of any modern conservation movement.
Attendees also heard from Winona LaDuke, a rural development economist who told inspirational stories about her environmental and activist work and highlighted injustices against Native communities.
Yarnold took time during his plenary speech to praise work taking place throughout the country and gave several shout outs to North Carolina, including:
- Audubon members in the town of Matthews, who lobbied the town to add more native plants to the approved tree and shrub list for developers, while removing all invasive species
- Audubon North Carolina’s efforts to pass Senate Bill 606, which will bring more native plants to state roadways
- Former Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society Board President Tom Tribble and Sara Wrenn and Kristin Anderson of UNC Asheville Audubon, who spoke in front of the entire convention about the growth of Audubon Campus Chapters
- Wake Audubon Board Member Mary Abrams, for her climate advocacy work
When North Carolina Audubon members weren’t birding and seeing the sights of Lake Michigan, they were participating in deep-dive workshop sessions to learn how to build bigger, more diverse movements and how to better advocate for birds.
“It was inspirational and motivational—from start to finish,” says Nancy Casey, Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society board president. “I got so many good ideas and I'm looking forward to jumping into action.”