Parks everywhere serve as a gateway to nature and the great outdoors. As stewards of these spaces, it’s our responsibility to cultivate the next generation of diverse environmental leaders that will utilize and protect these spaces for generations to come.
To assist park agencies with this important work, NRPA recently collaborated with renowned expert and author, Angelou Ezeilo, to host an interactive diversity workshop at our headquarters in Ashburn, Virginia, and we’re thrilled to have her join us on the show.
Angelou is the founder and CEO of Greening Youth Foundation, an organization that focuses on the recruitment and placement of thousands of youth and young adults from diverse backgrounds in careers in conservation and land management. Her book, Engage, Connect, Protect: Empowering Young Diverse Environmental Leaders, illustrates the lifelong pursuit of inclusion and equity in conservation and environmental stewardship.
On today’s episode, we chat with Angelou about her journey and the work she is doing to bridge the cultural divide and activate a new generation of environmental stewards, as well as why it’s so important to foster a love for this kind of mission.
We also chat about why culturally relevant curriculum is necessary to engage more diverse youth in environmental conservation, and how intentional and thoughtful partnerships can help park and recreation agencies work with diverse youth in their own communities.
We discuss why it’s important to have these discussions — even when they may make us feel uncomfortable or unsure. Talking is more important than not talking, and it gets easier the more we do it.
To learn more about Angelou’s inspiring work, tune in to the full episode below, and be sure to check out these resources mentioned in the episode, as well:
- Greening Youth Foundation
- Angelou’s website
- The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations: Mainstream NGOs, Foundations & Government Agencies (report)