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Disney Conservation Fund: Nature for Everyone

We all hold the power to make an impact on the world around us,
and Disney Conservation has always worked to provide opportunities for
communities around the world to gain inspiration from the magic of nature and ignite
a sense of personal stewardship to protect the world we share. Each of us can play
a pivotal role in conservation, from our diverse voices and experiences to our
backgrounds and talents – we each have the opportunity to take part in
meaningful efforts to ensure both people and wildlife thrive.

We carry forward our commitment to protecting the magic of nature for everyone through grants made by the Disney Conservation Fund (DCF), supporting collaborations with organizations and people globally to connect communities with special places, from forests to wetlands and rivers to oceans.

One of these
organizations is Outdoor Afro, which helps connect Black people to
the outdoors by creating welcoming experiences that celebrate Black leadership,
history and sustainable outdoor skills. Disney supports an effort called the Outdoor Afro Leadership Program to
recruit, retain, and train Black men and women to be Outdoor Afro Leaders. In
2020, the Leadership team planned a year full of 1,000 adventures across 30
states. Their efforts engaged 40,000 people in-person and more than 100,000
people online. Each adventure offers a unique experience while highlighting
exercise and health, skill-building, environmental education, history and other
cultural themes.

DCF is also
splashing into Outdoor Afro’s Making
Waves Swimmership Program
, which helps children and caregivers overcome
barriers to positive swimming experiences, while also caring for the health and
wellness of freshwater and marine ecosystems. This program teaches the life-saving
skill of swimming and helps Black children to enjoy the water safely.

(Above) An
Outdoor Afro group explores the great outdoors by kayak; To date, 170 youth and
caretakers have been awarded Outdoor Afro Swimmership scholarship funds to help
them learn to swim.

In honor of the 25th
anniversary of the Disney Conservation Fund
, we are also proud to
have awarded a $1M gift to support the work of Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder
of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, through the Jane
Goodall Institute
the Jane Goodall Legacy Foundation. Dr. Goodall’s work empowers young people to
make positive change through the Roots & Shoots program, and to date has
equipped young people in nearly 100 countries to be the next generation of
conservation leaders. Disney has supported Jane
Goodall’s Roots & Shoots
to help young people around
the world, from China to Argentina, and South Africa to the United States, make
a meaningful difference for people and nature in their communities.

A Roots & Shoots family explores a pollinator garden in Argentina

A Roots & Shoots
family explores a pollinator garden in Argentina

In our Central Florida community, Disney Cast Members from Disney Conservation Team Wildlife have worked with 3DE by Junior Achievement to engage 100+ students to create engaging communications plans to inspire their community to take action to help pollinators. In collaboration with programs like ELEVATE Orlando and the Disney Dreamers Academy, the team also hosted virtual presentations and served as mentors to empower young people to discover their potential and consider career opportunities in the fields of veterinary medicine, research and wildlife conservation.

Disney Conservation Program Manager, Rachel Smith, meets with Disney Dreamer participant to discuss her career aspirations

Conservation Program Manager, Rachel Smith, meets with Disney Dreamer

participant to discuss her career aspirations

As we wrap up Earth Month, we’re inspired by the people leading incredible efforts all around the world to ensure nature is and remains for everyone. We believe that together we can ensure that the great outdoors is a place where everyone feels that they belong. And for a little more nature inspiration, we’re excited to share a new Disney Conservation Activity Packet– full of fun activities to do together with the young people in your life to learn about amazing animals and how you can help to protect them.

Follow us on social media @DisneyConservation for inspiration throughout the year.

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