Trailblazers, Authors, Congressional Rep, Musicians, Poets to Take Virtual Stage
CHEVY CHASE, MD – The Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) and its partners are proud to announce that this year’s Taking Nature Black Conference will be the biggest to date with more speakers and more days to salute African Americans in the environmental space. The conference, themed Call and Response: Elevating our Stories, Naturally!, features speakers on everything from climate change to environmental justice and environmental joy, and runs Tuesday, February 23 – Saturday, February 27.
More than 50 speakers, presenters, and performers, including poets, singers, and visual artists, will appear on the virtual stage. Keynote speakers include Dr. J. Drew Lanham, Clemson University Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology and author of the groundbreaking work, The Home Place Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature; Dr. Thomas Easley, Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and D.C.’s own Akiima Price, an award-winning consultant with the National Park Service on programs in Anacostia Park that address nature and community well-being; Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-4), a longtime passionate, leading voice on environmental justice who serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and the House Committee on Natural Resources, and their respective sub-committees, will deliver a videotaped keynote and receive live his honor as a National Environmental Champion.
In addition, Derrick Evans, an environmental trailblazer and community builder who has spoken around the world and is often proposed as a candidate for the MacArthur Genius Award, will keynote through his documentary, Come Hell or High Water. The dynamic Environmental Film Festival documentary features Evans’ incredible battle to save his historic coastal Mississippi Turkey Creek community from erasure. Evans is a civil rights historian and sixth-generation native of Turkey Creek, founded by emancipated African Americans.
About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region’s iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS‘s nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.