Beginning Birders: A Program Providing Confidence and Community
Lauren D. Pharr. Field Inclusive, Inc., Raleigh, NC, United States

There is a lack of awareness that marginalized and historically excluded individuals and groups face additional barriers when either professionally working or recreating in the outdoors. More specifically, “at-risk” individuals which include those minority identities of the following: race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity and/or religion are more likely to experience prejudice which may manifest against them. Partnering alongside Wake Audubon Society, Field Inclusive, Inc., a non-profit organization striving to provide tangible and actionable improvements in the natural resources by addressing issues related to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, shares a vision for a world in which the outdoors feels safe and welcoming for everyone, regardless of personal identity. Both organizations saw the need for more inclusive spaces for marginalized groups to gather and feel safe while enjoying a common nature activity – this sparked the creation of the Beginning Birders Program.�