Race-Conscious Language to Promote Equity in Nature

Topical Peer Conversation

Words matter. When we say our parks and natural spaces are for “all,” are we actually glazing over certain stories and reinforcing ones that have always been told? Sweeping statements about the value of nature and nature-based programs and spaces can risk a colorblind approach that erases individuals’ racialized, cultural, and ethnic identities and experiences.

This Peer Conversation will highlight the importance of using race-conscious language to counter colorblind approaches to equitable and inclusive programming. Starting with the difference between intent versus impact when we say our programs are “for all,” discussion leaders will explain race consciousness and the importance of using race conscious language when discussing inclusion. Attendees will discuss how they can move beyond simply “welcoming” racial diversity and instead focus on creating youth and nature programs in which people of all racial and ethnic identities belong.


Alayna Schmidt

PhD Student, Clemson University

Cameron Smith

Ph.D. Student, Clemson University