I’ve worked in and volunteered with environmental nonprofits for two decades, but haven’t always been invited, welcome, supported, and/or celebrated in those spaces as a mixed-race, trans, nonbinary individual. Mostly because, until recently, many white-, cisgender-, heterosexual-, abled-led environmental nonprofits felt that equity and inclusion work was “mission creep” and beyond the scope of their organizations.
In 2020, I decided enough was enough and started to demand the organizations I work in, with, and navigate on a regular basis start working to include me in meaningful ways so that I could safely show up as my complete authentic self.
In 2021, I joined Next 100 Colorado — a coalition committed to the establishment of a just and inclusive parks and public lands system. In 2022, I became a Thought Partner for the Elevating Voices video storytelling project (which I will share when it becomes available) and became a Rising Leaders Fellow for Justice Outside. It’s long past time our voices and our stories and our needs are heard.
CommuniTy Science: One Trans Person’s Trip to Loveland Pass to Study Pikas
In September 2021, my accomplice at work, Megan Mueller (she/her), took me out to see pikas and conduct a pika survey. Because of my identity as a trans person, I don’t feel safe in the outdoors by myself, and have never signed up for the Colorado Pika Project because of it. Here’s a short video about that trip. (24 minutes)
Unsubscribing from White Supremacy Panel
Crystal and Parker from Inclusive Journeys invited me to participate in a discussion about different ways we align with white supremacist delusion as BIPOC individuals and our process to unsubscribe from them.
Belonging in the Outdoors Roundtable
In this live roundtable I organized, marginalized Coloradans discussed why they do or do not feel invited, welcome or safe recreating in Colorado’s public lands, working in the environmental or outdoors industries, or participating in community science without critical mass; how those that do began to, and what those who don’t need to. The panelists for this event were Amber Mohammad Castańeda (she/her), Coal Creek Canyon Volunteer Fire Department, Andrea Cota Avila (she/her) from Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, Crystal Egli (she/her) from Inclusive Journeys, Robbin Meneses (él/he/him) from Latino Outdoors, Colorado Team, and myself.