INTERTWINE SUMMIT 2021
Creating Safe and Welcoming Parks & Greenspaces
2:40 to 3:40 p.m.
This panel will present local case studies about how culture change is being implemented to create safer and more welcoming natural spaces for all. It will look at how our coalition can amplify and build capacity for the many people and organizations doing this work.
Mauricio Valadrian, Northwest Family Daycation and Valadrian Creative & Consulting
Mauricio Valadrian (he/him) is a first generation Colombian immigrant who has worked as a multicultural communications strategist for broadcast television and as an independent film maker for the last 20+ years. He is a Diversity-Equity-Inclusion consultant working with organizations in the private and governmental sectors nationally and across the world, his practice focused on outdoor equity and the interconnectivity between recreation, accessibility and conservation. He is the board chair for Hike it Baby, a national nonprofit advocating for families with young children to build community across difference on trail. He also manages the Northwest Family Daycation App, a mobile platform developed in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Intertwine Alliance as a point of entry for underrepresented communities to connect with nature in the Portland metro area. Mauricio was appointed to the Oregon Conservation and Recreation Advisory Committee, where he serves as vice-chair.
Chad Brown, Love is King and Soul River
Chad Brown (he/him) is the founder and president of Soul River Inc., a nonprofit organization that focuses on connecting veterans and introducing diverse urban youth of color to theoutdoors, nature conservation and growing young leaders into advocacy for our public lands, wildlife and freshwater. Recently, Brown has launched a new nonprofit, Love is King, that he leads with the mission to dismantle the hate, bigotry, ignorance and racism in the outdoors for BIPOC and all marginalized groups to have the opportunity to roam further and bolder in the outdoors and create wonderful memories for themselves without having to face any aggression. The focus of Love is King is increasing access to and safety in the outdoors. Brown is also a Navy veteran, accomplished documentary style portrait photographer commissioned to shoot for the New York Times, and operates as creative director/head photographer for Chad Communication Design.
Chad often pursues adventures in the back country as an outdoorsman, bow hunter, conservationist and taking outdoor leadership teams into the Arctic Circle. He is especially passionate about working closely with indigenous nations, as well as working for environmental justice on public lands, raising awareness through education, providing access, inclusivity, and safety for everyone but especially for people of color in the outdoors. Brown is a board member of the Alaska Wilderness League and has been featured on BBC, CBS, as well as in national publications such as Outside Magazine and The Drake, and in various Pacific Northwest publications. Additionally, Brown was the first recipient of the Breaking Barriers Award presented by Orvis, as well as the Bending Toward Justice Award from Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley.
Will Cortez, BikePOCPNW and Metro
Will Cortez (he/him/siya) was instrumental in the creation of BikePOCPNW, a collective of 250+ BIPOC folks interested in bicycles, brought together by the desire to create safe spaces for personal growth, community, and learning. Will is an experienced educator and project manager bringing experience from several years as a high school math teacher, construction project manager, and race director for local running events. He is currently employed as the accessibility project manager for Metro Parks & Nature, where he brings a lens of racial justice, disability justice, climate justice and their intersectionality.
Kimberly Howard Wade, PGE Project Zero
Kimberly Howard Wade (she/her) is the Director of PGE Project Zero, empowering the next generation to create cleaner, greener, more equitable communities. As part of the Community Impact Team at Portland General Electric, Kimberly also provides leadership, project management and community engagement strategies for education and workforce development. In this role she works closely with: PGE’s diversity, equity & inclusion team and workforce planning & strategy on career technical and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career pathway initiatives; energy professionals on K-12 classroom outreach; and customer solutions on post-secondary innovative research and the impact of education on economic development. Kimberly also serves as the program officer for the PGE Foundation, the corporate foundation of Portland General Electric, where she partners with higher learning institutions in Oregon to add value to the scholarships awarded by the foundation.
Prior to coming to PGE Kimberly worked in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. She was the Trust manager of the Oregon Cultural Trust, managing director at Portland’s Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, education/outreach director for Artists Repertory Theatre, and the Director of Catering for Il Solito (formerly known as Pazzo Ristorante,) part of the Kimpton Group. Kimberly currently serves as chair of the Oregon State Board of Education; she also serves on the board of directors for Portland Playhouse, and the Center for Performance and Civic Practice. She previously represented Oregon on the Western States Arts Federation's Regional Multicultural Advisory Committee. In addition, Howard is an accomplished actress, with credits in New York, the Williamstown Theatre Festival and several Portland theaters. After attending Wellesley College, Howard received her BA from Pacific Union College in political economic history. She holds an MFA in acting from Columbia University and has taught theater at Walla Walla University. She lives in Gresham, Oregon, with her husband, their twin sons, and their dog, Cooper.
Darryl Ramsey, Outdoor Afro
Darryl Ramsey (he/him) is the Outdoor Afro Portland Network Leader. Outdoor Afro is a national not-for-profit organization with 102 volunteer leaders in 33 states around the country who are changing the face of outdoor recreation, natural resource management and stewardship. Darryl is passionate about ensuring that Black people have access, representation, meaningful participation, and quality experiences in nature as well as in its stewardship, while uncovering and amplifying the historical and ongoing contributions of Black people in the outdoors, and protecting and enhancing our lands, wildlife and waterways for long term sustainability.
Darryl discovered his love for the outdoors when he was introduced to hiking, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, kayaking and golf. Those experiences inspired him to expand his awareness of the outdoors and later accept the Outdoor Afro Leadership position for the Portland network. Darryl is responsible for membership, coordinating and leading events, and organizing classes for BIPOC members with the goal of inspiring connections and leadership in nature. Darryl is also a member of the Lower Columbia Nature Network, a regional coalition of agencies, partners and stakeholders working to connect our community to nature, and a member of the Columbia Slough Watershed Council Paddle Team and Land Use Committee. Darryl is also honored to serve as a member the Outdoor Afro National Policy Cohort that just returned from a successful Hill Day, where he and four other Outdoor Afro leaders from around the country, along with the National Policy Director, worked to build and strengthen relationships with policymakers and their staffers in the US Senate, US House of Representatives, and other federal agencies focused on natural resource management, as well as the White House.