In May 2020, George Floyd was murdered by police in Minnesota. Within the same week, Christian Cooper, a Black man, avid birder, and member of the New York City Audubon Society was birding in Central Park when a white woman called the New York City police on him after he asked her to leash her dog. In her phone call to police, she portrayed Cooper as a threatening black man. As these events unfolded simultaneously, many people working in outdoor and environmental spaces reckoned with the traditional centering of white experiences in nature and the role that systemic racism has played in the environmental movement
In her book, “Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors”, Dr. Carolyn Finney explores why African Americans are underrepresented in environmental movements.
In this River Talk, Cumberland River Compact Executive Director Mekayle Houghton joins Carolyn Finney for a conversation on the historic and lived experiences that have brought us to where the environmental movement is today and how we can build a more inclusive, equitable, and just future.