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The Nature Gap: Racial and Economic Disparities in the Outdoors
In most states, people of color and low-income communities are far less likely to have places to get outdoors near where they live. New data from the Center for American Progress and the Hispanic Access Foundation confirms what many have long suspected or known through experience: not everyone has equal access to nature’s benefits. The “nature gap” is real and it is wide. Nationwide, communities of color are three times more likely than mostly white ones to be deprived of nearby nature---in the Northeast, it’s nine times.

These disparities are not a coincidence, but rather the result of a long history of environmental racism, from the original dispossession of lands from Native Americans through years of forced migration, the discriminatory practice of denying financial services based on race or ethnicity known as “redlining”, segregation, violence, intimidation and exclusion from the decision-making table that continues in the conservation movement to this day. People of color and low-income communities are being both subject to the worst of nature destruction and locked out of efforts to undo it. This webinar will look at recent research that affirms this and at how the conservation and outdoors movement can rethink and remake itself to be more just, inclusive and effective at guaranteeing nature as a right to all.

May 5, 2021 04:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Jenny Rowland-Shea
Senior Policy Analyst, Public Lands @Center for American Progress
Jenny Rowland-Shea is a senior policy analyst for Public Lands at American Progress. Prior to joining American Progress, she worked at the National Wildlife Federation, focusing on climate change and energy policy issues. Rowland-Shea holds a master’s degree in geography from The George Washington University where she focused on urban sustainability and green space issues and served as the teaching assistant for the university’s Introduction to Sustainability course. Previously, she worked in the transportation planning sector and has interned with Alliance for Community Trees and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Rowland-Shea also holds a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Delaware and is originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Sahir Doshi
Research Assistant @Center for American Progress
Shanna Edberg
Director, Conservation Programs @Hispanic Access Foundation
Shanna Edberg is a longtime conservation advocate and promoter of environmental justice in the U.S. and abroad. She comes to Hispanic Access Foundation from an extensive professional background including sustainable development at the World Bank and Global Environment Facility, climate policy at the nonprofit Climate Interactive, civil service with local government, and managing her own photography business. Prior to that, while pursuing her education, Shanna worked in Peru to protect forests in the Amazon, researched and published on civil rights in Mexico, and supported city sustainability in Baltimore. She earned her M.A. in Latin American Studies and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and B.A. in International Studies from Johns Hopkins. Shanna resides in Baltimore, Maryland with her partner and dog.