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Recolor the Outdoors: Understanding the Historical Connection Between Blacks and the Outdoors
December 15, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm EST
Join Corliss Outley with Clemson University and the Director of Bernheim’s Children at Play Network initiative, Claude Stephens as they discuss trends in the U.S. over the last 50 years that have led to an apparent significant decline in time children spend in free play outdoors in general and an even greater decline in time spent at free play in “wild areas” such as woods, deserts, grasslands and other natural or semi-natural landscapes.
These numbers are even greater for Black children, yet very little understanding of the factors that have led to this decline — the unequal distribution of nature in America, the historically unjust experiences that Black people have endured in the outdoors, nor the exclusion of Black people from the conservation movement, are discussed. By focusing on serving the needs of the Black community and ensuring the inclusion of Black voices, we can reclaim this culturally rich connection and ensuring the safe enjoyment of the outdoors for generations.
Dr. Corliss Outley is a Professor and Director of REYSE (Race, Ethnicity, Youth & Social Equity) Collaboratory at Clemson University. Her research examines positive youth development outcomes during the out-of-school time hours, particularly focusing on racial/ethnic identity and cultural behaviors, health disparities, social justice and built and physical environmental influences. She considers herself a “community engaged scholar” that focuses on improving sociopolitical systems and environments to reduce inequalities through the application of strengths-based empowerment approaches to youth engagement. She also attests that it is only from working side-by-side with communities that we as scholars will learn about their assets, as well as needs, in order to get for these citizens to no longer be considered underserved, but where they are fully represented and active participants in the social, environmental, economic and educational institutions.