For Nature Walk Wednesdays, I’ve featured several blog posts about birding which seems of special interest to a lot of our readers. Steve Molk has already sent me several more birding journal entries that I’ll be featuring at some point in the future when we resume a more active posting schedule (after a summer hiatus).
This week, I’m wrapping up our Nature Walk Wednesday series with a special link to a long-form article on Black Women Birders from the Audubon Society’s Magazine. I’ve also included a few other links to articles on #blackbirdersweek which was just this past week and featured throughout the environmental blog-o-sphere.
Right now I want to keep our focus on Black Lives and engage a bit with this theme. The article I linked to was compelling to me in light of the recent incident in Central Park where a white woman walking her dog called the police on a black birdwatcher with a made up story about how she was being threatened.
While Christian Cooper was bird-watching in Central Park last month, he asked a pet owner to put a leash on her dog, as required by park rules. When she declined, Cooper began filming. The video, which went viral, shows the owner, Amy Cooper, who is white, calling 911 and saying, “There’s an man, African-American… threatening me and my dog.”
One of the things I’ve never had to consider when I’ve gone out birdwatching is my skin color!
Another recent story I read in the local media was about a black man living in Upper Arlington who ALWAYS takes his little girl and puppy on a walk with him around the neighborhood he lives in because he is afraid what he might risk as a black man walking around a suburban neighborhood alone. He told the reporter that he hopes that his daughter and dog make him seem less threatening. WTF, right?
White privilege is EVERYWHERE. As nature enthusiasts I think it is critical we take a look at our outdoors community of birders, hikers, rock climbers, boaters and so on and ask ourselves — where is the diversity? Have you noticed this? What can we do to help?
see you outside soon! Brian
(comments welcome; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Heres a link to last weeks article if you missed it:
Nature Walk Wednesday – Black Lives Matter pt.1
June 5, 2020 by Tara Santora, AUDUBON MAGAZINE
As part of Black Birders Week, women are sharing their love of the outdoors and the challenges they face in them.
For more reading…
- The Importance of Black Birders Week and Its Lasting Impact – Magazine of NC State University & Research
- Birding While Black – Inside Higher Ed
- Black Birders Call Out Racism, Say Nature Should Be for Everyone – Scientific American
Brian has served as Director of Administration here at First UU since 2010. He previously worked for non-profits and in higher education including; IT/communications at the Upper Arlington Public Library, was on staff at the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association in Frankfort, KY, and before that as Director of Technology Services for Student Life at the University of Cincinnati. He received a BA in Anthropology/Archaeology, M.Ed. in Education and a Certificate in Peace Education all from the University of Cincinnati.
Brian moved to Columbus with his family in 2008; his partner Julie is Director of Counseling Services at Ohio Wesleyan University; his son Jeremy, a proud graduate of the School for Young Children is now at Whetstone High School. They also have 2 purrrfect cat companions living with them.
Previous Nature Walks:
- Nature Walk Wednesday – Black Lives Matter pt.2
- Black Lives Matter – Nature Walk Wednesday
- Annual Meeting Countdown – 4 Days to Go!
- Nature Walk Wednesday – Bird Watching in Florida
- Nature Walk Wednesday – Going Camping!
- Nature Walk Wednesday – Spring Wildflowers
- Nature Walk Wednesday – Trip to Vietnam
- Nature Walk Wednesday – Earth Day at 50
- Nature Walk Wednesday – The trail of the Whooping Crane
- Nature Walk Wednesday – Five Metro Parks