2012 State of Diversity and the Environment Blog Carnival

Another Blog Carnival Presented by Rooted in the Earth! Read the original call for blogs.

I am going to keep this simple: my hope is to join with each of you  to meaningfully and fruitfully gather together face-to-face focusing on people of color and the environment in the near future. In 2009, Audrey Peterman did just that with Breaking the Color Barrier in the Great American Outdoors.

Some thoughts on some wonderful work in 2011 and where we are headed in the future including 2012:

~ Andrea Roberts’ Extending our Useful Lives Being Honest About Sustainability and Mortality

~ Rue Mapp’s The Year of Relevancy

~ Dianne Glave’s She Wolf  Transitioning to the New Year of 2012

Go to the blogs to read thoughts, ideas . . . some are transforming thoughts into action.

Do contact me at dianneglave@gmail.com if you would like to add your blog to this carnival.

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2012 State of Diversity and the Environment Blog Carnival

Welcome to the third Rooted in the Earth Blog Carnival!

People of color faced many obstacles in 2010 and 2011 including higher rates of unemployment during the Great Recession and increased conservatism concerning diversity/ethnicity in the US. There has also been much to celebrate with an African American president and a growing Latina/o population. I wondered in 2012, the new year, if the same ups and downs are true, when it comes to those working and serving for diversity (people of color) and the environment. Personally, I can count more than twenty people of all ethnicities I can reach out to with expertise concerning people of color and the environment. Five years ago, the ranks were thinner. At the same, time I sense some (justice) fatigue among the ranks.

I am sending a call for blogs responding to a the state of diversity and the environment in 2012. I will include your name, organization, a personal/non-profit description, and blog/website. The blog carnival is broad enough to include stories about nascent environmental movements among and concerning people of color, projects-in-progress that will help to grow the movement, ideas for the future, and more. For those who do not blog, please contact me directly so we can work together to add your perspective to the blog carnival.

Submit your blog to 2012 State of Diversity and the Environment by January 19th. All blogs will be subject to review based on suitability to the topic.

Dianne Glave

Shades of Nature: Environmental Fiction Blog Carnival

Shades of Nature: Environmental Fiction is the Second Rooted in the Earth Blog Carnival. This time the focus is on environmental fiction or literature. Although I lean towards history and popular culture, I so dearly love fiction too. After reading blogs by the contributors to this carnival, look out for the Third Rooted in the Earth Blog Carnival in the near future.

Many years ago, I learned that Lauret, my friend, was editing a volume that included environmental fiction. The result was The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World (2002) edited by Alison H. Deming & Lauret E. Savoy. The second edition of the collection arrives online and in bookstores in February 2011. They edited the book from two perspectives: Deming who is white and Savoy who is of African descent. Both women were clear about their perspectives based on diversity in the preface which defined the collection.

Al Young, the author of one of the essays titled “Silent Parrot Blues,” introduces his piece on environmental racism with a story:

Even I, who knew next to nothing about parrots, understood that this parrot was exceptional . . . His coat of many color was listless and raggedy. Not only did he look as though he’d been plucked and picked on, he looked as though he had been ‘buked and scorned,’ as the faithful Negro spiritual would have it.” (p. 113)

The parrot, a metaphor for environmental racism, could not speak much like people who cannot speak up for and defend themselves when say a company opens up a garbage dump in an impoverished neighborhood skirting environmental laws.

To expand on this idea of inequity, Savoy says, “What is the American Earth to people of color? Of course there is no single or simple answer.” (p. 9) The following blogs come from many perspectives including ethnic-and bio-diversity:

FICTION

“Yard Yarns (Limerick and Haiku Prompt),” Mad Kane’s Humor Blog.

“Time and Tide Pools,” The Daily Neurotic: A Webblog About Life’s Peculiarities Otherwise Known as the Dailies.

“Fiction: A New Heaven and and a New Earth,” The Great Auk — The Greatest Auk: Not Bad for Being Extinct.

“Flying Alone,” Memorizing Nature: Fantastical Yet Critical Writings by Elaine Medline.

“Stone,” Frogs and Ravens: Some Days We Are Ravens; Other Days, Frogs

The Marshlanders Sample Chapter: Beaver Night.

“Rooted in the Earth: Reclaiming the African American Environmental Heritage: An Excerpt,” From the Blog by the Same Name.

REVIEWS

“A Review of Toni Morrison’s A Mercy,” The Schleicher Spin.

“A Damn Good Flood,” The Schleicher Spin.

Darryl A. Perkins the author of Into the Night and Understanding Goshawks offers shares some advice for writers of nature and the environment:

“The challenge of environmental fiction is to take something imaginary and not factual, and wrap it around something that is not only real, but necessary for our survival.  A further challenge, particularly of people of color, is to share our experiences and or imagination on the subject, with an audience that is unaware of our history and involvement with the environment.  However, there are heroes out there fighting the good fight like Rue Mapp, and Frank and Audrey Peterman.”

I am moved by the words of the authors who have shared their blogs in the Shades of Nature: Environmental Fiction Blog Carnival. Please take the time to comment on the blogs to encourage these environmental writers as they continue their creative pursuits.

Nature Blog Network: More Diversity and Analyzing Traffic!

Storm Clouds in Memphis

I have been linked to the Nature Blog Network for several months now and it is one way of discovering nature blogs and learning about traffic at your own blog.

According to the website the network is “a nexus for the very best nature blogs on the net. If you’re looking for outstanding blogging about birds, bugs, plants, herps, hiking, oceans, ecosystems, or any other natural topic — or if you blog on those topics yourself — this is the place for you!”

As noted, it’s a great way to get to know about other nature blogs. As a novice, I am interested in birdwatching so 10,000 Birds, linked to the network along with many other blogs, appeals to me.

In addition, Nature Blog Network is an analytic that tracks the number of hits to a nature blog linked to the website. For example, on August 4, 2010 Ugly Overload averaged 2549 views per day ranking it as the #4 blog on the network. Click on the orange tab to the right of the rankings on the Top List page and more analytic statistics pop up. From May 11 to June 10 Ugly Overload had 78.272 views at the blog.

The Nature Blog Network is one of many statistical tools that can help a blogger figure out how many people you are reaching. Another options is Google Analytics, which can drive viewers to your site, while providing statistical data on google word searches. And when blogging using WordPress, specific data on your blog are available including your top ranked blogs.

Based on my searches at Nature Blog Network there isn’t much diversity at the site. If you are blogging about nature from any perspective of diversity, then consider linking your site to the network.

Photo by Dianne Glave

What Has Jarid Manos Been Up To?

Jarid’s been promoting his book Ghetto Plainsman in the southwest and working with his non-profit Great Plains Restoration Council. Just recently, he did a book signing at The Grove, an outdoor mall in Los Angeles. There’s a farmer’s market near the mall so be sure to check it out when you are in Southern California.

♦♦♦♦

He’s also been enjoying the outdoors in between all his hard work. Read what he has to say about Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas Panhandle:

Hiked 8 miles..and climbed bare handed up the cliff face to the canyon rim, where it was gale force winds trying to blow me off the top.

“The battle of Palo Duro Canyon was the major battle of the Red River War, which ended in the confinement of southern Plains Indians (Comanches, Kiowas, Kiowa Apaches, Cheyennes, and Arapahos) to the reservations in the Indian Territory. Palo Duro Canyon is significant because it represented the southern Plains Indians’ last effort at military resistance against the encroaching whites.” — Texas Handbook Online

For a place where such violence, sorrow and loss occurred for Indian people, setting the stage for over a century of confinement and disease, and that marked the beginning of the end (death) for the Southern Plains, on this Sunday it was peaceful and oddly serene. Could Palo Duro be trying to teach me about forgiveness — something I always struggle with?

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Jarid will be in Atlanta in the fall with Keeping It Wild. Stay tuned for more details.

Photos by Jarid Manos

Shades of Nature: Environmental Fiction, A Call for Blog Carnival Submissions

DEADLINE EXTENDED UNTIL AUGUST 30, 2010. PLEASE CONTACT ME WITH ANY QUESTIONS AT DIANNEGLAVEROOTEDINTHEEARTH@CLEAR.NET

I love fiction, and some of my blogs at Rooted in the Earth reflects my interest.

Please submit your blog of environmental fiction–prose or poetry–to the second Rooted in the Earth Blog Carnival titled Shades of Nature: Environmental Fiction. I am flexible since I will even include reviews/essays;/overviews of environmental fiction. C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia comes to mind when I think of environmental fiction. Another example is W. E. B. Du Bois’ The Quest of the Silver Fleece. Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry edited by Camille Dungy is another option to consider when looking to some models for environmental fiction.

Submissions outside the scope of environmental fiction will not be considered. Perspectives from diversity including gender and ethnicity, along with more general submissions are welcomed.

If you do not have a blog, I will work with you on posting your environmental fiction if accepted.

Submit your blog here. The deadline is MONDAY, AUGUST 30, 2010. POSTING OF THE BLOG CARNIVAL WILL BE DETERMINED BY THE END OF AUGUST.

I look forward to your submissions.

Elizabeth D. Blum on African Americans and the Environment

I have known Ellizabeth D. Blum for several years now. Like many who know her personally, I call her Scout; I’ll have to ask her the origins of her nickname. Elizabeth and I put our heads together on many an occassion as the sub-discipline of African American environmental history began to evolve back in the 1990s. She is an associate professor in the History Department at Troy University. Read her book titled Love Canal Revisited: Race, Class, and Gender in Environmental Activism. Read what she has to say . . .

As an academic, I often have to deal with misconceptions about African Americans and the environment.  One of the most persistent, and most harmful, is a common belief that the environmental justice movement that emerged in the 1980s was “new” and radically different from the “mainstream” environmental movement.  According to these themes, “mainstream” environmentalism focused too exclusively on the concerns of white preservationists – they pressed for parks and protected the spotted owl.  Environmental justice brought the plight of minorities, urban areas, and the health effects of pollution to a lily-white movement, and connected it to the civil rights movement.  Robert Bullard and Dorceta Taylor, two of the foundational authors of the environmental justice movement, propounded these theories beginning in the mid to late 1980s.  Environmental justice activists, including Bullard and Taylor, had vested political interests in these views.  The more “new” the movement looked, the more likely it was to receive much-deserved attention from politicians.  Unfortunately, although additional scholarship has added much to the picture, this simplistic image of environmentalism is one that has stuck.

My point is not that environmental justice advocates are bad or even wrong about the connections of race and class to environmental harm – to the contrary, I have long been a proponent of environmental justice.  My point is that by ignoring history, we ignore the deep roots of a movement and marginalize some of the key players, namely African American women.  African American women have been pivotally involved in urban, civil-rights-connected environmentalism since the late 1800s.  They formed clubs and organizations and worked to clean up cities for health and aesthetic reasons.  They saw their work not as “environmentalism,” but as a part of their ongoing struggle for civil rights.  African American men, especially elites like W.E.B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington, and other literary giants of the Harlem Renaissance made explicit connections between the poor treatment of human beings under slavery and the poor treatment of the land in the south.  To heal the land, they believed, African Americans needed to be free and equal.  In other words, the ideas of the environmental justice movement aren’t “new” – they’ve been around for around 100 years.  Certainly, that fact makes their ideas no less important or valid.

Another part of the problem here is that academics simply aren’t very good at getting their messages out to a larger public.  That’s our fault, and a longstanding one.  We tend to speak to each other and not to the general public.  However, even within the academic community, some of the excellent historical works out there are not seeping into other fields speaking to environmental justice.   Academics need to start talking to each other, and communicating with the general public in a more constructive way to break down these myths, and give historical actors some of the credit they deserve.

 Elizabeth D. Blum

Audrey Peterman: The Hardest Working PERSON in Diversity and Environment

Audrey Peterman and her husband Frank Peterman have been working, often by themselves, for years encouraging people of color to take in the outdoors through trips to national parks. Their book Legacy of the Land: A Black Couple Discovers Our National Inheritance and Tells Why Every American Should Care is a much welcomed and anticipated product of their efforts.    

    

In her own words in this guest blog . . .    

I’ve noticed the word “heaven” a lot in my communication lately. My dear friend Iantha Gantt-Wright, lavishly referenced in our story, Legacy on the Land first introduced the concept of living in heaven while we are here on Earth. I’d mentioned in one of our meditation sessions something about a future in heaven and she shocked me when she said, “Why not live in heaven right now?” Pursuing that thought and consciously living in the present moment, enjoying the glorious activities of life all around me, I do feel that I am living in heaven.
   

But the feeling was intense when I visited Dry Tortugas National Park on Friday, April 23, with a group of friends from across the country, and accompanied by our dearest, longtime friend and committed Community Partner, Park Ranger Alan Scott. I didn’t know how fateful it was, but his friend, Debra Hess, naturalist on the Yankee Freedom, joined us at the dock at Key West on Friday morning, and told us she had devoted her (precious!) day off to accompany us on the trip.    

Is this a gorgeous sea fan or what? But we take nothing off the islands but pictures.

You’ve got to read the chapter in www.legacyontheland.com to learn the fascinating  story of Dry Tortugas, and suffice it to say, the raucous call of a million shore birds as we coasted past Bush Key, and the sight of the magnificent frigate birds floating over the fort, their nine-tip raven black wings distinguished by white head on the females. I held my breath looking for a male, distinguished by his huge, bright red pouch, and didn’t see one. I was confident I’d see one by the end of the day. Meanwhile, some of the females actually came and hovered over the boat, seeming just as curious about us as we were about them.   

Frank Peterman

I could rhapsodize for hours about our time in the courtyard, where we watched a rare Merlin grooming in a tree, with a yellow crowned night heron nearby. One friend and I sat under a tree and talked in front of a bird bath, where a profusion of warblers enjoyed themselves four feet away from us. Several brilliant orange-and-black American Restarts flew by our shoulders, and an intense-yellow prairie warbler flitted by. Later, while I went back to the boat to eat, the others went out and saw the prize of all prizes, a life-list and the Holy Grail for most birders, the Painted Bunting. They said they watched it for many minutes as it fed on orange peel. Frank told one friend who’s new to birding that she’s literally starting at the top.    

Being that close to wild animals, being in the presence of the rhythm of life as it has evolved for millennia, my soul took flight. I cannot even express how being surrounded by nothing but  the sound of  birds’ wings and bird calls remain with me even now, two weeks later.  

So it felt quite tragic when I called Deb on Monday to thank her, and heard her voice literally shaking. It turns out that the very area which we experienced in this most pristine setting may now be in jeopardy from the wayward tide of oil seeping down from the spill.  God forbid, my mind screamed.    

Deb said the park is likely to release official information by today, Wednesday, May 5.    

The suddenness with which our priceless natural treasures can be endangered as a consequence of our own actions is a cautionary lesson. The fact that it happened when the experience was fresh in my feelings makes it poignantly clear to me: How evolved exactly are we when, so many decades after we have known we need to transition to clean energy, we’re digging even deeper into the firmament, with disastrous consequences? The magnificent frigate birds, noddy terns and sooty terns that have nested and bred on these islands for millennia, get their food from the sea. If the water is laden with oil, there’s nothing to warn them. And the first time they dive in, it’s over.   

Frank and Audrey

Since I’m living in heaven while here on Earth, I’m putting all my energy into visualizing the islands remaining just as I experienced them, and praying that the current of oil is miraculously or scientifically (it’s all the same to me) shut off.  Please, let this be a wake-up call. We all have a lot to gain by becoming involved with our natural resources and doing what is necessary to be good stewards. The natural world is relying on us.    

Guest Blog and Photos by Audrey Peterman  

Final Photo from Issues Wire

Inaugural Blog Carnival: Challenges of Doing Diversity and Environment

Welcome to my Inaugural Blog Carnival focusing on the joys and tribulations of doing diversity and the environment.

As an African American woman, it has been a long lonely difficult journey sharing the stories of African Americans and the environment. It has also been one of my greatest joys. My goal in my inaugural May 2010 blog carnival is for diversity/environmental bloggers to share their successes along with their trials and tribulations. We have been doing the good but difficult work of getting the word out about diversity and the environment. I invite and challenge you to come join with me to connect with people and find support in one another. Some are connected and others are not. For those who are connected, continue with me creating community. For those who are not, please do join in.

Please submit your blog at my Inaugural Blog Carnival: Diversity and Environment Challenges. The submission deadline is Friday, May, 21, 2010. The blog carnival will be posted on Monday, May 24, 2010.

Dianne Glave

A Scratch-n-Sniff “All Shades of Green” Blog Carnival

Welcome to the April 2010 Diversity of Science Carnival (DiS) #9  titled “All Shades of Green” Diversity in Outdoor and Environmental Awareness. Details are already available for submissions for the next DiS Blog Carnival #10. Many thanks to Danielle N. Lee who was kind enough to invite me to guest blog at her DiS Carnival this month.   

I am Dianne Glave, your host at the center of the carnival ring of bloggers. Our theme is all things April: celebration of earth day, arbor day, environmental awareness and all  earthy-eco-related things through the written word and images of the blog. There’s some scratch-n-sniff in here too. I am excited about this month’s submissions.   

Each blog highlights the April theme of “All Shades of Green” Diversity in Outdoor and Environmental Awareness. In addition, I asked contributors to describe the smell of April and what they are up to.

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Take a look at the blogs and their responses to my questions:   

Hatched from the Same Egg Interview with Jared Manos. “Sun warming the waxy green out of live oak tree leaves.” The second edition of Jared’s Ghetto Plainsman is available at your local Barnes and Nobles Bookstore.    

   

Anne Jefferson’s More Tributes to Reds Wolman From all Those Who Miss Him. “April smells like mud. And I mean that in a most complimentary way (I study mud).” She is in the midst of the end-of-semester hamster-wheel, trying to stay on top of courses and grading while keeping up with her own research sputtering along.   

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Rue Mapp’s Easter Egg Hunt. “The smell of April is FRESH!” Rue Mapp, the goddess of all things outdoor and afro, just returned from the White House Summit in DC on Outdoor Recreation and the Environment. She will be running a program to connect kids and their parents to the great outdoors this summer.   

   

Danielle N. Lee’s Travelog San Francisco: Protecting the Coastal Bay. “April smells like flowers.” Danielle is graduating with her Ph.D. Learn more at her blog Urban Science Adventures!.    

Boys Scouts Planting a Tree, Cascade United Methodist Church

Rona Fernandez’s Turning Garbage into Black Gold. “The smell of April is green like moist grass after a rain, yellow like daffodils and blue like the sky after a storm. Rona is headed to the Macondo Writers Worship, hopefully to do more nature writing for Brown Girl Going Green blog!   

   

Suzanne E. Frank’s Weeding in the Forest. “April generally smells like freshly turned wet earth, and then, of course, the smell of new mulch that everyone is laying down all over.” Suzanne is busy with aa spate of plant sales and a flurry of planting, as she ends up buying more than  she can possibly fit into her garden beds, but will manage to pack in somewhere. 

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Diana R. Williams’ Sharing Our Stories: After Natural Disaster. April smells like sweet rain, cool and refreshing.” As the president of Candler Women, she just accepted Emory University’s Campus Life Outstanding Student Organization Event Award for the 100 Women at Candler Luncheon.   

   

Kristina Necovska’s A Conversation wth Nalini Nadkarni, “Queen of Canopy Research.”   

Vegetables Just Pushing Up, Organic Garden, Emory University

 Susan Horton’s Everyday is Earth Day for These Women in Science.  

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Sam Lemonick’s A Conversation with Seismologist Kate Hutton.   

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At the Texaco

I smelled something too: April is the sweet smell of the honeysuckle that crept along the fence of the parking lot that was the playground at my Lutheran grade school. I snapped the base of the flower and drainied the sweet honey-taste into my mouth. I blogged April too in Bees and Boys at the Texaco and Sacred Moments: A Baby Owl and Two Strangers in a Parking Lot.   

Cherish the last smells, sights, tastes, and sounds of April.   

PHOTOS BY DIANNE GLAVE