Bernheim Ambassador Connects With the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition

By Kenyetta Johnson

Early in Kenyetta Johnson’s role as Bernheim Ambassador she reached out to the organizers of the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition (KSEC) to see whether they might be interested in connecting with Bernheim. Fortunately for the citizens of Kentucky, our youth are passionately engaged in doing the hard work of ensuring that future generations get to enjoy the benefits of a healthy environment. Kenyetta successfully connected with the KSEC to get them engaged helping with the complex work of communicating with citizens about the ramifications of destroying ecosystems in favor of natural gas pipelines like the one that LG&E wants to put through the natural areas of Bernheim.

Their experiences at Bernheim included field trips to see the location of the proposed LG&E natural gas pipeline and the ecosystems that would be impacted by that project.

The future of the planet looks very different depending on your perspective. Our youth have more at stake regarding that future than others because they will live with the consequences of poor decision making far longer. The KSEC says it very well on their website:

“As Kentucky youth, we hold the greatest stake in the future of our state. We accept responsibility to create an environmentally sustainable, socially just, and economically vibrant Kentucky for the well-being of ourselves and future generations. We are leading our state away from a self-destructive path by helping to usher in a new government and a new economy that will respect and protect our workers, communities, and environment. We are strong and resilient. If we work together, we will win.”

After a recent visit to Bernheim, KSEC delegate Kat Smith wrote:

“The relationship between KSEC and Bernheim has been incredibly valuable, and rich in building both of our networks. Through this relationship we’ve been able to strengthen the ties between environmental education and advocacy, build youth involvement, and expand the scope of projects such as the fight against the LG&E pipeline. We’ve also been able to share opportunities with each other such as tabling events, volunteer opportunities, speaking events, and important connections with other partners throughout the state. We are so excited to continue growing this connection with Bernheim and are looking forward to what this next year will bring for the both of us.” 

 All organizations must simultaneously look to the past and to the future. We are thankful for the fresh perspectives and passion that our youngest citizens bring to the work of living in agreement with nature.

About the Bernheim Ambassador Program:

The Bernheim Ambassador program is an intentional effort to foster relationships between Bernheim and individuals and organizations that are currently under-represented at Bernheim. Generous funding from the Brown Forman Foundation has allowed Bernheim to hire Kenyetta Johnson to serve as Bernheim’s first Ambassador. For the past year Kenyetta has initiated conversations with individuals focused on serving Black and Brown communities in urban Louisville and surrounding communities. Her conversations begin without any preconceived ideas about what might happen next and sometimes evolve into amazing new relationships. The goal is to create healthy new relationships beyond Bernheim’s borders, support them, and see what common paths we may end up traveling together. For more information reach out to Kenyetta Johnson.

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