Nature is for Everyone: The Black and Brown Faces in America’s Wild Places
An evening with author, photographer, and outdoor advocate Dudley Edmondson (Read more here)
Saturday, March 21 2020 - Click for schedule of events!
at Northern Virginia Community College, Woodbridge Campus, Lakeside Theater, 2645 College Drive, Woodbridge, VA 22191
Free of Charge, Registration Required. Space is limited! Please register at https://GoOutside.eventbrite.com/
With a landscape that spans from a tidal shoreline to a mountain, Prince William County's diversity of natural resources create a sense of place that is unique within both Northern Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
State, federal, and private investments preserve natural areas that represent about 11% of total county acreage. Of particular note, the 15,000 acre Prince William Forest Park is the largest Piedmont forest in the National Park Service and the largest green space in the Washington, DC metropolitan region.
Despite the availability, quality, and diversity of local natural areas, people of color are underrepresented as visitors and participants in outdoor programs. National surveys reflect this same gap. Census and US Forest Service data shows African Americans account for just 1% of national forest visits while Hispanics or Latinos represent less than 6% of national forest visits. Non-Hispanic whites account for well over 90% of national forest visits.
But nature is for everyone, says author and outdoor photographer Dudley Edmondson. “It knows no race, creed or gender and is cheaper than any therapist you could ever hire.” Still, there is a clear lack of diversity in the outdoors.
As a photographer, Edmondson says he’s “been looking for African Americans and other people of color in an effort to create images that could change the way people of color see themselves and maybe, in the process, also change the way America sees them.”
This goal led to publication of his book The Black and Brown Faces in America’s Wild Places, which features the profiles of 20 African-Americans and their love for the outdoors.
The question, Edmondson says, is not how we got here or whom we thank for it, but how do we as humans remain here on earth and how do we better coexist with the other life forms with which we share our world.
Edmondson’s public presentations advocate for unspoiled wild places and share his quest to make green spaces less white. His talk explores the issues faced by minorities in the great outdoors, and captures the importance of connecting to our conservation heritage for all cultures and races.