TONIGHT: Earth Week Keynote Speaker Carolyn Finney to discuss ‘Seeing Green: Christian Cooper, John Muir & Playing the Long Game’

Carolyn Finney, author of "Black Faces, White Spaces," will virtually address the Elon community on April 22 at 6 pm.

Central Park birder Christian Cooper. George Floyd. Removal of Confederate Statues. Renaming of institutions. Reparations. Systemic Racism. What’s the environment got to do with it? How do we meet this moment?

Drawing from her book, “Black Faces, White Spaces,” her relationships “in the field” and her lived experience, Carolyn Finney explores the complexities and contradictions of our past, the realities of our present and the possibilities of our future as it relates to green space, race, and the power to shape the places we live in our own image.

Finney lives at the intersection of art, education and lived experience. As a storyteller and cultural geographer, the aim of her work is to develop greater cultural competency within environmental organizations and institutions, challenge media outlets on their representation of difference, and increase awareness of how privilege shapes who gets to speak to environmental issues and determine policy and action. She has been a Fulbright Scholar, a Canon National Parks Science Scholar and received a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Environmental Studies.

Along with public speaking, writing, consulting and teaching, she served on the U.S. National Parks Advisory Board, which assists the National Park Service in engaging in relations of reciprocity with diverse communities, for 8 years.  Her first book, “Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors” was released in 2014.  She is currently working on a performance piece about John Muir (“The N Word: Nature Revisited”) and is the new columnist at the Earth Island Journal while doing a two-year residency in the Franklin Environmental Center at Middlebury College as the Environmental Studies Professor of Practice.

To attend this event,  please register in advance.

Sponsored by the Office of Sustainability; African & African-American Studies; Campus Recreation & Wellness; Center for Environmental Studies; Center for Race, Ethnicity, & Diversity Education; and Public Health Studies.