The population of Texas is as diverse as the natural resources and beauty of the state. The Texas conservation community does a great job with connecting youth and families from all walks of life with nature in their programing and by creating access to nature. However we do a less effective job with empowering people of diversity and youth to seek careers in the outdoor industry.
At the Children in Nature Conference-2015, a group of concerned partners came together to address the issues surrounding this dilemma. Texas Children in Nature and Audubon Texas organized the sessions to examine what the issues are and focus on taking real action to change perceptions and attitudes. The desired outcome was to create a tool kit that all Texas Children in Nature partners can use to raise awareness, and communicate with youth and families about the benefits of careers in the conservation community.
You can take meaningful action by taking a Pledge to Make a Difference. The Pledge is simple- just agree to speak honestly and openly on this topic to groups, youth and parents, communicate with your HR departments to make sure the language on applications is inclusive, or mentor a youth personally or through an internship.
The link to the Prezi created as follow up to the sessions is open for the public to use to give presentations, or pull pieces of the information from.
Speakers at the sessions included:
Brian Trusty, Executive Director, Audubon Texas
Parc Smith, Executive Director, American Youth Works
Nikia Douglas, Principle, Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy
Illiana Pena, Director of Conservation, Audubon Texas
David Buggs, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Ky Harkey, Outreach and Education Coordinator, Texas State Parks
Moderators, Haily Summerford, Audubon Texas and Jennifer Bristol, Texas Children in Nature