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What Color is Place?

Honoring Dr. Carolyn Finney for International Women’s Day

“In the case of race and the environment, it’s not just who we imagine has something valuable to say. These assumptions, beliefs, and perceptions can be found in the very foundation of our environmental thinking, how we define the “environment” and how we think of ourselves in relationship with the environment. Who do we see, what do we see?’

— Carolyn Finney, Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans
Carolyn Finney
Dr. Carolyn Finney

In honor of International Women’s Day earlier this week (Monday, March 8), today’s blog is dedicated to Dr. Carolyn Finney, author of Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors and the keynote speaker at the 6th Annual TSS Place-Based Symposium on April 23. 

A prolific writer, engaging storyteller and sought-after public speaker, Dr.Finney has shined a spotlight on the disparities between white people and people of color in terms of their access to, political representation in, and perceived beliefs about outdoor spaces.

Compiled below are just a few of Dr. Finney’s many talks and articles.
“Whose story counts?” Tedx Middlebury, February 12, 2020
North American Association for Environmental Education talk
Smithsonian/Earth Optimism

If, as I have, you sorted through the historical narrative surrounding the national parks, the movies and books about the parks, the magazine and newspaper coverage of the parks—you’d come up with narratives that largely leave out the experiences of people of color. 

Some might say that many of these works and organizations are about the parks, not people. But I would respond that the parks are about us. And that “us” has always been diverse, even if those in the positions to write the stories and make the policies have not.”

Dr. Carolyn Finney, Outside Online, “It Matters Who You See in Outdoor Media.” August 8, 2016

Please join Dr. Finney and many other presenters at this year’s virtual Place-Based Symposium on April 23rd, 2021 from 4:00 – 7:30 p.m. MST. Registration is FREE and available here.

Have an idea for a possible presentation at the Symposium? Proposals are still being accepted through Friday, March 12. Learn more here about this year’s conference themes and how to submit your proposal.

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