Focus on Diversity: The Journeys of Black Professionals in Green Careers

Folks, this isn’t a forest planning issue, not directly, but it may be of interest here on Smokey Wire. The outfit I work for (I’m Director of Sustainability Communications at the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, SFI), just released a book, Black Faces in Green Spaces: The Journeys of Black Professionals in Green Careers.

The 120-page publication, was produced by Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS), Project Learning Tree, and the SFI—all are non-profits. It profiles 22 Black Americans who share their personal stories about finding their passions and overcoming challenges, and offer advice to the next generation about exploring their own careers in the forest and conservation sector.

This is a very positive Black History Month story. Journeys includes a brief history of Black Americans in forestry from the colonial period to the present, along with a foreword by Randy Moore, chief of the US Forest Service and the first Black American to hold the position. Several USFS folks are profiled, including Beattra Wilson, Assistant Director for Urban and Community Forestry.

Although you may not be a reporter, you’re welcome to attend the virtual Media Briefing and Q&A session tomorrow, Wednesday, February 15, 2023 from 11–11:30 a.m. Eastern Time. You can register for the Zoom session here. You’ll be able to ask questions of Mia Farrell (Past-President) and Marcus Bernard (current President) of MANRRS, and others.

You can download Journeys as a PDF for free. Individual printed copies of Journeys are also available for $39.99. Bulk orders for organizations that want to distribute printed copies to employees, students, networks, and partners are welcome ($800/box of 25 copies). We’re asking folks to consider buying or donating a box and give them to schools, colleges, and universities across the US, such as Title I schools and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Forgive me for shamelessly promoting this book. I’m proud to have been a part of the Journeys team.

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