Dr. Carolyn Finney, PhD, storyteller, author and cultural geographer will be speaking at the Fletcher Free Library on Sunday, August 20th at 11 a.m. 

Her keynote talk - The Here and Now: Being Black, Dreaming Green & Playing the Long Game - will explore themes from her most recent book Black Faces, White Spaces.

Dr. Finney is a renowned public speaker and has engaged with communities throughout the globe. Her talk will examine the ways that nature and the environment are racialized in America leading to discrimination in outdoor recreation and environmentalism.  Dr. Finney will highlight ongoing efforts to make nature more inclusive and rebuild equitable relationships with the great outdoors. Coffee, Tea and Donuts from Hangry the Donut Bar will be provided.

This talk will kick off Burlington’s Summer Community Day, in collaboration with the Burlington Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Department's Urban Park Rangers. The Urban Rangers will host a free outdoor event at Oakledge Park from 12 to 4 p.m, for community members to try free summer activities and sports, network and enjoy the outdoors. Learn more:

About the Speaker: 

Carolyn Finney, PhD is deeply interested in issues related to identity, difference, creativity, and resilience. Dr. Finney is grounded in both artistic and intellectual ways of knowing - she pursued an acting career for eleven years, but five years of backpacking trips through Africa and Asia, and living in Nepal changed the course of her life. Motivated by these experiences, Dr. Finney returned to school after a 15-year absence to complete a B.A., M.A. (gender and environmental issues in Kenya and Nepal) and a Ph.D. Along with public speaking, writing, media engagements, consulting & teaching (Wellesley, UC Berkeley and the University of Kentucky), she served on the U.S. National Parks Advisory Board for eight years which assists the National Park Service in building relationships of reciprocity with diverse communities.  

Her first book, Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors was released in 2014 (UNC Press). She is currently working on a performance piece entitled The N Word: Nature Revisited as part of a Mellon residency at the New York Botanical Gardens. Along with being the new columnist at the Earth Island Journal, she was recently awarded the Alexander and Ilse Melamid Medal from the American Geographical Society and is an artist-in-residence and the Environmental Studies Professor of Practice in the Franklin Environmental Center at Middlebury College.

August 20, 2023 - 11:00am - 12:00pm