EDITORAIL: Celebrating Black History Month at the Brevard Zoo
By Space Coast Daily // February 1, 2023
The Zoo will be highlighting several black-owned restaurants and food trucks at the Zoo throughout the month.
The Brevard Zoo is excited to share that for the second year in a row, they will be celebrating Black History Month at the Zoo – and you’re invited to join!
In 2020, in response to society’s growing awareness of social justice issues, we established an employee-driven diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion (DEAI) committee to create positive change at the Zoo and in our community.
Over the past couple of years, our DEAI committee has created and planned public initiatives to celebrate Pride Week and Black History Month, inviting our staff, volunteers and community to join in.
You are invited back for another Black History Month celebration filled with food, activities, educational opportunities, and more!
The zoo will be highlighting several black-owned restaurants and food trucks at the Zoo throughout the month. If you participated in our celebrations last year, you’ll recognize these names!
Staff, volunteers, guests and everyone in our community are invited to support these businesses (and indulge in some yummy food) on the following days:
- Wednesday, February 8
- 11 a.m. –2 p.m.
- Tuesday, February 14
- 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
- Wednesday, February 22
- 11 a.m. –2 p.m.
All food trucks will be located in the South Zoo parking lot in front of the Nyami Nyami River Lodge. Limited seating will be available for your convenience while eating.
Outside food is not allowed inside the Zoo. Those who are inside the Zoo and wish to eat outside and re-enter should exit through the Guest Services Office, get a re-entry stamp, eat and then go back into the Zoo.
In addition, throughout February, Zoo Teens will have interpretation carts around the Zoo with an activity for guests to participate in and “Kindness Matters” bracelets available for a $2 donation.
All proceeds gathered from the bracelets will directly support Evans Center, a local non-profit organization committed to raising the standard of health and improving the quality of life in our community.
Internally, the Zoo’s DEAI committee invited a guest speaker to present on the science of exclusion to staff and volunteers and will be sending out weekly educational messages to provoke courageous conversations about diversity and inclusion. Love City Café, a black-owned business, will provide coffee for Zoo employees during our monthly meeting on February 2.
The DEAI committee’s mission statement is as follows:
Brevard Zoo is dedicated to sharing the joy of nature to help wildlife and people thrive. As a cornerstone of this mission, we embrace diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion. We believe that these qualities foster valuable talents, perspectives and personality traits that make the Zoo a stronger, more welcoming organization.
Employees, volunteers and guests of all races, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, exceptionalities, ages and nationalities have the right to feel safe, respected and valued. We reject racism, religious discrimination, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, ageism and xenophobia. Simply stated, we will not tolerate acts of hate.
We acknowledge the complex nature of this journey, and we are committed to demonstrating continuous self-reflection, engaging in courageous conversations and devoting the resources required to create transformative change both in our Zoo and beyond.
We hope you can join in on the fun this month, and we look forward to hosting more DEAI celebrations in the future. Stay tuned!