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Narratives Worth Exploring

#BlackLivesMatter, Books, Diversity, Nelson Institute, The Joy Trip Reading Project / 06.12.2023

On Thursday November 30, 2023, hosted an online discussion with Amber Wendler co- editors of the anthology “Been Outside ~ Adventures of Black Women, Nonbinary and Gender Nonconforming People in Nature”. Encompassing four major themes—identity, inspiration, ancestry, and stewardship—Been Outside explores the relationship between nature, science, and self through essays and poems from leading Black women and nonbinary scientists. Edited by Amber Wendler and Shaz Zamore, stories from 22 writers showcase both the challenges and joys of carving out your own path—and will inspire any reader looking to craft their...

Capitol Christmas Tree, Choose Outdoors, Commentary, Essays, Joy To America, National Forests, Native Culture, Podcast, Public Land, U.S. Forest Service / 04.12.2023

Immediately following my return from Washington D.C. - I mean on the flight home – I was inundated with kind words of support and condolences for the demise of my Christmas Tree. Due to excessively high winds early in last week of November 2023, it is indeed true that the beautifully decorated holiday tree provided to the White House by the National Park Service sadly fell over. News reports in photographs showed the tree lying on its side. But as I graciously replied to each of these thoughtful...

Black History, Black Lives Matter, Capitol Christmas Tree, National Forests, National Parks, U.S. Forest Service / 20.11.2023

The 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was harvested and packed for transport to Washington D.C. with the assistance of the young men and women from the U.S. Job Corps of Harpers Ferry West Virginia. This year, all were Black or Hispanic. As much as I would like to believe that this is not a big deal, I must acknowledge that this represents the change that we all must strive for in order to preserve the long-term sustainability of our natural resources both here in...

#BlackLivesMatter, Black History, Capitol Christmas Tree, National Geographic, National Parks, Public Land, Unhidden / 08.11.2023

On a visit to the New River Gorge National Park, I hiked through the preserved ruins of the community in which historian Carter Godwin Woodson spent his formative years. Known as the “Father of Black History”, he worked as a coal miner in the town of Nuttallburg, West Virginia. Just a few miles from the visitor center, down a very step narrow road, are the remaining structures in which Woodson likely worked as a young man, as well as the schoolhouse where he first taught Black students....

#BlackLivesMatter, Adventure Activism, Blackwaters, Diversity, Fly Fishing / 25.10.2023

Here where Jahmicah Dawes studied fashion merchandising at Tarleton State University, he and his wife Heather have focused their love of vintage clothing, technical apparel, and rugged footwear upon the creation of an establishment that encourages folks in their community to venture outside into the wilds of nature and look good doing it. Located near the center of town Slim Pickins is a shining example of the progress the outdoor recreation industry has made toward becoming more diverse and inclusive. Ironically, their store is located directly across the...

#BlackLivesMatter, Books, Diversity, Nelson Institute, The Joy Trip Reading Project / 25.09.2023

On Thursday September 21, 2023, at 5PM Central Time The Joy Trip Reading Project hosted an online discussion with Baratunde Thurston, author of “How To Be Black” Thurston tells a better story of us, weaving together threads of race, technology, democracy and climate through his work as an Emmy-nominated host, producer, writer, and public speaker. ...