Our Values

Western Sandpipers, Dunlin, Semipalmated Plovers, and Least Sandpipers by Jon Corcoran

Land Acknowledgement: Cornell University is located on the traditional homelands of the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ’ (the Cayuga Nation). The Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ’ are members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, an alliance of six sovereign Nations with a historic and contemporary presence on this land. The Confederacy precedes the establishment of Cornell University, New York State, and the United States of America. We acknowledge the painful history of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ’ dispossession, and honor the ongoing connection of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ’ people, past and present, to these lands and waters.

Our Statement on Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (A Living Document)

The K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is an inclusive community, and we welcome anyone who has an interest in bioacoustics without consideration of age, gender, ethnicity, race, skin color, religion, physical or mental ability, sexual orientation, nationality, or background, among others. We recognize that diverse, inclusive communities create more innovative and impactful work to address global challenges and benefit humanity and nature. We will work purposefully to amplify underrepresented and marginalized voices within the Yang Center and the communities we aspire to serve. 

To date, the Yang Center has taken a number of steps to encourage diversity and inclusion in bioacoustics research. We host training workshops in passive acoustic monitoring and sound analysis for scholars and practitioners in the places they work around the world. We also provide free software licenses to and support individuals from lower-income countries with scholarships to attend our Cornell-based workshops. Yang Center researchers regularly collaborate with community partners at our research sites and we routinely host scientific visits and exchanges for international scholars and students.

While we are energized by the steps we have taken so far, we acknowledge that there is still much to do. To guide our journey, we have created a standing committee whose mission is to cultivate a learning, teaching, and research community at the Yang Center that: 

  • Acknowledges harms caused by biased, oppressive, and exploitative policies, structures and practices, and actively works to dismantle these to ensure fairness and equal opportunity and treatment for all (JUSTICE)
  • Recognizes people’s different starting points and life experiences to create a level playing field by transforming policies, structures, and practices that have caused and perpetuated disparities to ensure fairness and equal opportunity and treatment for all (EQUITY)
  • Embraces and celebrates the characteristics that make us different and works to foster this diversity within our workplace and our collaborations (DIVERSITY)
  • Commits to policies and practices that include, value, and encourage all voices to participate in planning and decision-making and mindfully centers the perspectives of marginalized groups (INCLUSION)

Guided by our DEIJ committee, the directors, researchers, students, and staff of the Yang Center are working to collectively identify specific steps and actions we will prioritize to uphold and promote these values. As we craft and fulfill our commitments, we will share them here, as part of a living document that guides our actions and promotes our accountability.

For more on this topic, view the Values page of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.