Dear Friends,

Like so many of you, we are saddened, grieving and outraged at the recent murders of George Floyd in Minnesota, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, Tony McDade in Florida, and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. To make matters worse, these deaths and countless others (less publicized) are acts of anti-black violence, that are happening at a time when people, (especially people of color) are already isolated, struggling economically, and uncertainty about their future.

We wanted to take a moment to restate that we unilaterally condemn discrimination and racism in all forms, and maintain an unwavering commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We are listening and stand in solidarity with you—our community, our Cooperative Extension, Nature Connection Network, and Cornell colleagues as well as our friends and neighbors through this suffering and upheaval.

On Tuesday we will meet together with our colleagues in the Nature Connection Network. Driving racial equity and social justice is foundational to the Network and together we will share ideas for how our organizations, and potentially how we individually, can respond.

To quote Cornell President Pollack’s statement on Friday, “Decent people and institutions cannot stand silent while such violence against our fellow citizens continues.”

While our in-person programs remain paused, we have continued our homeschool and preschool programs remotely and continue to plan for a scaled back summer in the woods. Many of our colleagues at the Cooperative Extension have continued their essential work in so many areas as well and we are here for you.

As members of the Primitive Pursuits family, the greater Ithaca community and a nation of neighbors, we join with all of you in respect and care for one another.

In Community,

Megan Pugh and the Primitive Pursuits Team