Carolyn Finney, author of Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors, will speak at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 30, 2017 in UNC Asheville’s Humanities Lecture Hall.
Finney is one of 12 members of the congressionally chartered National Park System Advisory Board, working to assist the National Park Service in engaging relations of reciprocity with diverse communities. She also is an assistant professor of geography at the University of Kentucky. Her March 30 talk is titled Radical Presence: Black Faces, White Spaces and Other Stories of Possibility.
Finney’s career as a cultural geographer came after a backpacking trip around the world and a period of time living in Nepal. She explores how difference, identity, representation, and power play a significant role in determining how people negotiate their daily lives in relation to the environment. As a Fulbright fellow, Finney has also researched the impact of tourism and modernization on Nepalese women and the environment.
She says the aim of her work is to develop greater cultural competency within environmental organizations and institutions, challenge media outlets on their representation of difference, and increase awareness of how privilege shapes who gets to speak to environmental issues and determine policy and action. By engaging art, science, and popular culture, she works to create new frameworks of engagement where diverse communities and individuals, environmental organizations, government agencies and academic institutions can establish and nurture healthy human/environment relationships.
Finney’s talk, originally scheduled for last year as part of UNC Asheville’s celebration of the National Park Service Centennial, is co-sponsored by the university’s Center for Diversity Education and National Endowment for the Humanities Professorship. Additional support comes from the Sierra Club of Western North Carolina (WENOCA) and Everybody’s Environment.
Finney’s book will be available for sale at this event; doors will open at 5:30 p.m. This event is free and open to everyone.
For more information, contact Deborah Miles, director of UNC Asheville’s Center for Diversity Education, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (828) 232-5024.