Minorities in the Outdoors

There's an interesting article this morning in the Star Tribune about Dudley Edmondson, a nature photographer from Minnesota. He recently wrote a book called Black & Brown Faces in America's Wild Places about people of color working and enjoying the outdoors. Let's face it, most of us can count on one hand the number of African American birders that we have ever met. The article brings an interesting perspective of why we don't see more people of color out in the field. Dudley says:

"A lot of it has to do with family traditions. African-Americans were closer to nature when we were in south. As we came north, we left our outdoor culture behind. We cut those ties and never reconnected."

When asked what should outdoor educators and organizations be doing, Dudley says:

"We can make a concerted effort to reach out to communities of color through traditional paths of news and information, through minority-interest magazines and newspapers, through church and community leaders. We need outdoor education centers in communities of color, staffed by people of color."