Webinar: Beyond Diversity – Organizational Culture & Systems of Change

Wednesday, December 13th, 2 – 3 pm ET

In our endeavors to “’diversify’ our teams” and thus increase recruitment and retention of folks from communities of color, we often overlook the organizational culture that contributes to the systems that uphold barriers to accessibility, inclusion, equity, and justice. This webinar will unpack and address the organizational culture that frequently contributes to hidden values, expectations, and practices that ultimately inform organizational priorities and actions. During the presentation, we will collectively identify the mechanisms and tools available to dismantle and disengage from systems that uphold barriers to access, inclusion, equity, and justice. Ultimately, we will increase our familiarity with diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice principles and identify how shifting behaviors and expectations can yield a more welcoming and inclusive team culture.

Ashleyann Perez Rivera (she/her/hers) is a Digital Media Ranger at the National Wildlife Refuge System Headquarters’ Branch of Communications and Digital Services. Ashleyann supports the NWRS team with strategic communications, coordinating with partners like the Public Lands Alliance on rebranding, creating, and supporting with internal communication and use of the NWRS SharePoint, contributing to social media, and co-leads the Multilingual Accessibility Community of Practice.

Prior to her role at the Service, she worked at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation as a Marine and Coastal Programs Coordinator. In 2017, she worked with the Urban Wildlife Conservation Programs as a fellow in the Hispanic Access Foundation’s MANO Project. 

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Friends: Showing Off Their Stuff on Capitol Hill

  • Post category:Homepage
  • Reading time:2 mins read

CORFA on Capitol Hill
On the 15th, CORFA took part in the National Wildlife Refuge Expo on Capitol Hill. Members of USFWS, CAREFriends of Patuxent, and CORFA came together in a House office building to show the value of the National Wildlife Refuges. CORFA shared with members of Congress and their staff the importance of the Friends community. We thank all the Friends that contributed to this video about what we do and the special places we support! I also want to thank Aimee Arent, Matthew Emmer, Lisa Jansen-Rees, Jim Nosler and Stephanie Kaufman for making our display possible!

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The Subtle Differences Between Friends & Volunteers: Juggling the Hats We Wear

  • Post category:Management
  • Reading time:3 mins read

Wednesday, November 15th, 2 – 3:30 pm ET

tree branch

Participants defined a Friend, Friends Volunteer, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Volunteer. They learned to distinguish the roles for each following USFWS policies for these program and tested their knowledge by participating in scenarios describing situations that may occur on hatcheries and refuges.

We would like to thank our knowledgeable presenters,

  • Jackie Jacobson, USFWS Region 6 Friends and Volunteer Coordinator
  • Helen StrackeljahnUSFWS Region 7 Friends and Volunteer Coordinator
  • Sue Hix, Friends of Sherburne NWR
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The Link — Summer/Fall 2023 Newsletter

  • Post category:News
  • Reading time:12 mins read

The Link is a quarterly newsletter produced in coordination between Friends, the National Wildlife Refuge Association and Coalition of Refuge Friends & Advocates.

From the Editor

Dear Friend,

Though an especially warm day makes it seem like summer is lingering, fall is officially here. Students are back in school, foliage is drying and taking on new color, and décor for Halloween and Christmas is easy to find on store shelves. Time to update Friends with an issue of The Link!

It’s also time to congratulate two Friends organizations that have been recognized for noteworthy accomplishments this year:

Your editorial staff invites you to sit back, relax, and take a virtual trip around the country to see Friends in action in their special places.

Enjoy Our Summer/Fall Issue!

Read All Of The Stories!

Thank you for all you do for national wildlife refuges,

Sue Hix
Friends of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, MN


The Summer/Fall 2023 version of The Link has been a coordinated effort between the National Wildlife Refuge Association and Coalition of Refuge Friends & Advocates. 

To receive the next issue of The Link, complete the form at the bottom of this page https://www.refugeassociation.org/refuge-friends-mailing-list. And please add refugeassociation.org to the safe list for your email account.

You’re invited to join the CORFA Facebook group, a place to connect with other amazing members of the Friends community to share information, insights, and experiences concerning nonprofit governance, management, and advocacy. Go to  https://www.facebook.com/groups/coalitionofrefugefriends/ and request to join this private group.

  • Sue Hix (Editor) – Friends of Sherburne NWR
  • Joan Patterson (Co-editor)—Coalition of Refuge Friends and Advocates 
  • Eden Taylor (designer)— NWRA Communications Associate 
  • Friends Editorial Staff:
    • Cheryl Hart—NWRA Board, Board member of Friends of Tualatin River NWR 
    • Kathy Woodward—Former NWRA Board Member, Board member of Friends of Great Swamp NWR 
    • Lisa Jansen-Rees—Coalition of Refuge Friends and Advocates Board, Board member for Friends of the Wichitas NWR

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Hosting Events As Fundraisers: What Does It Take?

  • Post category:Funding
  • Reading time:2 mins read

You’re Invited to this webinar on Wednesday, October 18th, at 2 pm ET

Does your Friends Organization want to host a fundraising event, but you are not sure where to get started? In this webinar, we will present examples of events hosted by Friends organizations both on and off FWS lands as fundraisers. You will hear how the event was developed, what partnerships were created, what level of effort was needed, lessons learned for future events, and net income raised.  

We will hear about events such as the Beer Festival put on by the Friends of Tualatin River NWR (presented by Bonnie Anderson), the Canyon Acoustics Festival, the Black Hills Beer Run, and Hotrods for the Hatchery Events held by the Booth Society (presented by Karen Holtzer), as well as the Friends of Seney NWR’s Loonapalooza Event (presented by Polly Sheppard) and the Wild Things Event at Southeast Louisiana Refuges (presented by Sue Wilder). We hope that the information provided in this webinar will not only get you excited about hosting a fundraising event but also provide some of the details it takes to host these kinds of events. This will be a fun webinar to attend!


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