A Message from the Garden's President

As we look forward to re-opening the Garden to the public tomorrow for everyone to visit and enjoy, we know that, going forward, we have much hard and worthwhile work to do. Over the coming months, we will launch a new initiative aimed at ensuring that diversity and inclusion are central to all we do at the Garden.

We pledge that racism will never be allowed to have a place at the Missouri Botanical Garden, now or in the future.

We want our community also to understand that we know that Black Lives Matter and that we are working to guarantee the Garden fully embodies this belief.

The mission of the Garden is “to discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment in order to preserve and enrich life”. However, we know that we cannot do this critically important work without a diverse workforce that feels respected and valued. We must create an inclusive, welcoming environment for all.

We will hire a dedicated Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the Garden, reporting to the President, to guide this work, which will include:

  • Establishing standards, policies, and programs that make our commitment to diversity and inclusion clear to both our Garden family and our visitors;
  • Engaging our staff, our colleagues and experts to have the critical discourse that will both propel us forward and keep us on track;
  • Re-examining our history to acknowledge racist legacies, further recognizing and retelling the story of Henry Shaw’s life;
  • Working locally, nationally and internationally to share best practices and research approaches.
  • Reporting regularly — detailing progress and work still to be done.

As we go forward, to shape this initiative, we will question, we will consult, we will engage, we will do what it takes such that our staff, colleagues and visitors see themselves and their heritage present in the Garden. We know that we want to be sure that our behaviors always value diversity and respect every individual.

Dr Peter Wyse Jackson
President, Missouri Botanical Garden