Diversity

Diversity, Environmental Justice, National Parks, Outdoor Recreation, Podcast, Yosemite / 26.09.2009

Back in January of 2009 I had the pleasure of speaking to Ken Burns. He sat with me for an interview about his documentary film "The National Parks: America's Best Idea." A program that first aired last year on PBS television stations nation wide this five-part series reveals in stunning detail some amazing historical facts. But what came out of that conversation was an awareness for the role people of color played in the creation of my favorite wild and scenic places.

Commentary, Diversity / 26.09.2009

Pity all National Park Service, Nature Conservancy or US Fish & Wildlife conferences don't conclude with a massive bar tab and a soul train line at one in morning. The new generation of environmental activists is dynamic, diverse and determined to breath fresh energy into the preservation of our wild and scenic places. Who says they can't have a good time while they're at it? Photo by James Edward Mills See the unfolding photostream at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nwsr8th/sets/72157622325056863/...

Commentary, Diversity / 25.09.2009

Carolyn Finney In the middle of the last century, Carolyn Finney grew up on a wooded estate in Manhattan. Though not a child of privilege, this professor of geography at the University of California at Berkeley recalls fond memories exploring the wild places on the property her father managed for a wealthy landowner. As the only African-American family in this affluent community Finney also remembers feeling less than welcome in this setting surrounded by nature. “It was not natural for us to be there,” she said. As the keynote speaker in the second day of programs during the “Breaking the Color Barrier to the Great Outdoors” conference in Atlanta, Finney shared her memories of a life in wilderness tainted by the racially motivated injustices of our past. “Those memories continue today,” she said. “And for a lot of people memory is truth.”
Commentary, Diversity / 24.09.2009

Photo by James Edward Mills Appointed in 1997 Robert G. Stanton was the first African-American Director of the National Parks Service. Today he is the deputy assistant secretary of policy and program management in the U.S. Department of Interior. As the keystone speaker and a panelist during the Breaking the Color Barrier to the Great Outdoor Conference in Atlanta, he inspired a new generation of young people to continue a long legacy of service to the principles of environmental conservation and the preservation of wilderness....

Commentary, Diversity / 23.09.2009

Outdoor diversity advocates Franks and Audrey Peterman welcomed a unique gathering of their peers to the city of Atlanta. A few hundred individuals from across the country, mostly African-Americans met to express their love and appreciation for nature  in the opening session of the Breaking the Color Barrier to the Great Outdoors conference. In her remarks Audrey Peterman shared a common observation with those assembled . "Frank and I would visit these wonderful National Parks and we would see so few people of color," she said."We wanted to do...

Diversity, Environmental Justice, Interview / 30.07.2009

[caption id="attachment_543" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Tanya Fields"]Tanya Fields[/caption] Too many of us presume that nature is out there, far away in a National Park or in some distant foreign land. Many of us who live in cities especially never truly realize that nature is all around us every day of our lives. We probably take for granted the importance of fresh drinking water, clean air and access to nutritious sustainably produced food. Tanya Fields aims to change that. -- Formerly a hip-hop artist and spoken word poet, Fields now works as the operations manager of the Majora Carter Group, a green-economic development organization in New York City. In her Bronx neighborhood Fields has started a community garden to provide healthy dietary choices for her community and give her family a natural setting to engage in an active lifestyle outdoors.  She’s also fighting for social justice in an effort to claim the environmental rights of people disenfranchised by a legacy of racial discrimination and urban poverty. Introduced to the Joy Trip Project by Chagents, an online social network sponsored by the outdoor footwear and apparel brand Timberland, Fields tells her story in this interview.