Diversity

Diversity, Nelson Institute, Outdoors For All / 31.05.2018

 My class Outdoors For All at the University of Wisconsin Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies is a 12-day course presented over 4 weeks. I'm presenting each day as a series of chapters like a book.  In Chapter 5 my students are learning about the Green Book. Written by a U.S. Postal Service employee named Victor Hugo Green, this travel guide for African-American motorists was an essential tool for the ability of Black people to safely navigate the highways, small towns and big cities of the United States from...

Diversity, Nelson Institute, Outdoors For All / 24.05.2018

Over the past several months I've been preparing materials to teach a college course on the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in outdoor recreation and environmental conservation. Despite having spent the last decade of my life working to unravel the mysteries behind the desparities of those who spend time in nature and those who don't, I still struggle to understand what we can do to correct them. Having literally written a book on the topic I suppose it was inevitable that would be asked to more thoroughly...

Diversity, Outside Magazine / 09.04.2018

When Outside Magazine editor Michael Roberts contacted me in the late Fall of 2017 I was thrilled beyond words. At the time I was on the road working my annual gig for the nonprofit Choose Outdoors reporting on the journey of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. Michael called me out of the blue while I was shopping at a Walgreens in Helena Montana. As I roamed the aisles looking for alcohol wipes, Altoids and AA-batteries he asked me to write the cover story for the May issue. Let’s just...

Commentary, Diversity / 01.01.2018

There’s a moment in public speaking when you know you’ve got them. Someone in the back of the room shakes their head.  Tongues click with disgust. Oh the injustice! A sharp intake of breath from the third row sets the hook as others gasp, right on cue. A grown man wipes a tear from his eye.  Then, at the end, there’s the question I’m so often asked: “What can we do to help?” Over much of the last two years I’ve traveled around the country presenting to audiences on...

Adventure Activism, Diversity, Environmental Protection, Essays, Latino Outdoors, National Monuments, National Parks, Natives Outdoors, Outdoor Recreation, Public Land, Special Events / 06.11.2017

On the last night of the SHIFT Festival in Jackson, Wyoming the organizers hosted an after-party at the Organic Lotus Restaurant. By 1:AM a steady beat of house music still roused a group of at least 30 Millennials to dance away the night well into the morning. Damp with sweat I sidled over to the bar for a drink of water. Even after a double hip replacement it doesn’t take much to get this aging Gen-Xer out on the dance floor. Inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of...

Commentary, Diversity, Madison, Nelson Institute, Yosemite / 23.10.2017

Much of the past weekend I spent happily lamenting an embarrassment of excellent choices. It seemed that the third week of October 2017 was an exceptionally good moment in time to explore, discuss and celebrate the emergence of diversity within the environmental conservation movement. There were at least four events across the country that brought together people of color to share their efforts to make the outdoors more welcoming and accessible to a broader cross-section of the American people. Sadly I was only able to attend two of...