I did a bit of ranting on the blog Saturday night about a Diversity Conference happening at Black Swamp Bird Observatory in Ohio at the end of the month. I was irritated because I had not heard about it sooner and was not able to go and lamented that the organizers were doing a poor job of promoting a much needed conference. Kenn Kaufman disagreed with some of my remarks and rather than dragging out misunderstanding in the comments section of the blog, we spoke on the phone yesterday. He said that the point of the Ohio conference is to attract the local community in the area and to get local teachers, naturalists, and others interested in the great roster of speakers. It wasn't meant to be a national conference. It's a great idea and we need to have more of these. Kenn also pointed out that there is another conference that is national going on the same weekend in Atlanta called Breaking the Color Barrier in the Great American Outdoors.
I was really surprised to not have heard about that one because one of the partners of the conference is the National Park Service (and I've worked as a part time park ranger for the last year and a half). Ah, I think the birding community is not the best promoting our events because we'd rather be outdoors watching the wildlife as opposed to taking the time to promote. We need these conferences, birding and wildlife enjoyment shouldn't be something that only white people do. Is a vibe being put out that is exclusive?
The bottom line is that these are both great conferences and if you are in the Ohio area or Atlanta area at the end of the month, you should try to check them out: