green spaces belong to everyone

Black Birders Week: May 31, 2020 through June 5, 2020. Follow on Twitter and Instagram.

“We should be out here. The birds belong to all of us,” he said. “The birds don’t care what color you are.”

“This is a story beyond one person, a story beyond that park. It is a story writ large of who owns spaces, who has privileges to those spaces,” says author and black birder Drew Lanham.

“We are a coalition of social media influencers – bloggers, athletes, activists, and entrepreneurs – who share the goal of promoting diversity in outdoor spaces where people of color, LGBTQ+, and other diverse identities have historically been underrepresented. We are passionate about promoting equity and access to the outdoors for all, that includes being body positive and celebrating people of all skill levels and abilities.”

“Outdoor Afro uses social media and volunteers to organize outdoor recreational activities — like camping, hiking, birding, biking and skiing — for African-Americans all over the country. Six years after its launch, there are 30 trained leaders in cities across the United States and 7,000 active members. The group’s tagline says it all: ‘Where black people and nature meet.'”

“Wild Diversity acknowledges all those who came before us, original stewards of this land, the Clackamas, Chinook, and Cowlitz people, both past and present. What we experience today is a product of ancestors ability to be in relationship with the natural world….We also acknowledge Black and African labor on which this country built its prosperity, we honor you. We know that we are sitting on the shoulders of giants and that we cannot do this work alone.”

“We inspire, connect, and engage Latino communities in the outdoors and embrace cultura y familia as part of the outdoor narrative, ensuring our history, heritage, and leadership are valued and represented.”

The Trail Posse is a non-profit journalism and advocacy project seeking to change the perception of the outdoors to be more equitable and inclusive, so our country’s emerging non-white majority grows a meaningful stake in our planet and its environmental challenges.”

“This is about holding on to our own humanity,” said Shelton Johnson, an African-American park ranger and storyteller in Yosemite National Park. “What it means to be ‘human’ existed within the context of wilderness for tens of thousands of years. It’s like walking into a psychologist’s office and saying, ‘I don’t know who I am anymore.’ Where can we find who we really are? By climbing a mountain or by going down a river or walking into a forest at sunrise.”

“America has grown increasingly unequal, with deepening fissures across and within cities by income, education, and race. And those divides are reflected in our access to parks and green space.

“Why, then, do we see differences across racial and ethnic groups for public land visitation? If African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos are spending time outdoors, as the survey suggests, why not in national parks, national forests, and national wildlife refuges? Researchers and outdoor advocates have pointed to several potential barriers to minority enjoyment of public lands.”

“…Here are a few ways that racism shows up in the parks system, along with actions that community health advocates can take to address it.”

“Why are African Americans so underrepresented when it comes to interest in nature, outdoor recreation, and environmentalism? In this thought-provoking study, Carolyn Finney looks beyond the discourse of the environmental justice movement to examine how the natural environment has been understood, commodified, and represented by both white and black Americans.”

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