Creating Safe Spaces: 2nd Roundtable

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National Wildlife
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Monday, January 25, 2021

On January 12, the National Wildlife Federation and partners hosted a roundtable, moderated by Dr. Mamie Parker, pioneering conservationist, and Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali, nationally recognized leader on environmental justice and climate policy. Panelists included: • Corina Newsome, American Ornithologist, science communicator, Community Engagement Manager at Georgia Audubon Society, and co-organizer of #BlackBirdersWeek​;

  • Dr. Aby Sene-Harper, public lands expert and Associate Professor at Clemson University with a focus on issues of racial equity;
  • Kelly L. Darden Jr., outdoor writer, host of Outdoor Moments, former North Carolina Wildlife Federation board member, and former Marine Fisheries Commissioner;
  • Christopher Joe, owner of Connecting with Birds and Nature Tours, LLC and District Conservationist- Natural Resources Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture.

BACKGROUND ON SAFE SPACES SERIES On December 8, the National Wildlife Federation launched the first roundtable in our Creating Safe Spaces initiative to shed light on the challenges that Black people face in safely accessing and enjoying the outdoors in partnership with Outdoor Afro, Black AF in STEM, Patagonia, and The Links, Inc. Over 1,700 individuals registered and joined us to hear from Black pioneers that have played an active role in addressing barriers. In addition to learning about challenges, we also discussed potential solutions that could be championed to address issues raised.


The issues raised and recommendations from our expert panelists will guide the Federation’s long-term efforts to address institutional and systemic barriers through programmatic and policy initiatives. Upon completing the roundtable series, we will be hosting a national townhall in March and a briefing or hearing on Capitol Hill in April. By addressing the unique challenges and barriers that Black people face when safely accessing and enjoying the outdoors, we seek to build a framework to address the challenges different identity groups face through our multi-year Creating Safe Spaces initiative. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Julia Jeanty at [email protected].