"Storying, Restorying, and Accountability in Nature: What’s Next?"
Storytelling is key to who we are as humans. Everyone tells stories. We tell them to provide insight into our hopes, joys, failures and pain. But what is the relationship between storytellers and those who listen? What happens after we hear the stories?
Charissa V. Jones (she/her), in the simplest form, likes to talk and listen—though she tries to listen more than talk. She is interested in (re)connecting mainstream environmental organizations to the many ways people explore, engage with, and participate in their environments. Charissa has over 15 years of experience in education systems (including formal, informal, and environmental and outdoor education spaces) and community engagement. She is active in the outdoor and environmental education community at both the state and national levels and is currently a member of the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) Affiliate Networking Group and Advisory Committee. Charissa earned her M.S. in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England (AUNE) and a B.A. in Environmental Studies with a focus on Environmental Education from New College of Florida (NCF). She is currently a doctoral candidate in the College of Education at Oregon State University exploring how race, gender, power, and identity affect the way we experience the outdoors.
Vices include travel, exploring the outdoors, books, frozen (MANGO) margaritas, Surinaams roti, and music.
5- to 10-minute talks about work people are doing to connect their communities to nature, followed by Q&A
"Healing With the Land, Weakening Colonial Patterns"
BRENNA BELL, 350PDX
Brenna (she/her) is a life-long environmental and social justice activist whose work has taken her into the streets, up trees, to courtrooms, and across the land. After a decade of working to protect and defend Mt. Hood National Forest with Bark, she recently turned her focus to being the Forest Climate Manager for 350PDX and with the people and land in the SW hills at Tryon Life Community Farm.
"The Role of Public Space & Civil Participation"
MALCOLM SHABAZZ HOOVER, Black Futures Farm & Black Food Sovereignty Coalition
Malcolm (he/him) is a father, grandfather and third-generation community organizer. He is the co-founder and co-director of Black Futures Farm, in SE Portland, and on the leadership team at Black Food Sovereignty Coalition. Malcolm holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Sociology from University of California Santa Cruz.
He grew up bi-coastal between unceded Ohlone and Lenai Lenape lands; East Palo Alto, CA; and Philadelphia, PA. His many jobs have included: assembly line worker making Doppler radar rigs, journalist, tech writer, high school and elementary school teacher, counselor, U.S. Navy Weatherman, video game tester, and book peddler. He loves motorcycles, plants and people. Malcolm’s first book, “144 Poems and Essays for God, Love, Truth, Justice, Peace and Hip Hop,” was published in 2015 by Tayen Lane Press, and he is currently working on “Love Poems for War Times: A Practical Handbook for Community Organizing.”
"Expanding What Access to Nature Means"
MATT HOWARD, Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection
Matt (he/him) joined the Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection board in January 2019. He is now on staff as the Program Coordinator. He sustained a T-10 spinal cord injury in 2006, and it changed the trajectory of his life. He works as a research coordinator for Oregon Health and Science University in the Oregon Rural Practice Based Research Network. He is also in the final year of a graduate program at OHSU for Clinical Informatics. When Matt isn’t working he enjoys coaching CrossFit, fishing, kayaking, and exploring all the great places Oregon has to offer with his dog Cash.
"LANDBACK in Our Portland Parks"
JR (he/him), Diné (Navajo) Nation. As part of a new generation that straddles a cultural chasm, JR leads efforts to further the conversation around defining the role of our generation for both Native and Non-Native communities. Born and raised amongst a rich culture of generosity, he learned the beauty of resilience that survived centuries of colonialism. As a storyteller, cultural consultant, and community advocate, JR regularly shares from the Indigenous perspectives about spirituality, community engagement and justice.
Always eager to seek new possibilities, JR strives to be innovative, venturesome, decisive, trusting and optimistic through his service on nonprofit boards, governing agencies and community groups. His work culminates in a strategic approach to include Indigenous perspective and understanding in all areas of decision making. He enjoys talking through tough problems, helping to identify the best solution, and using his skills to help cultivate a preferred future where our communities thrive together.
LYDIA PARKER, Hunters of Color
Lydia (she/her) is the executive director of Hunters of Color, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering racial equity in hunting and conservation. She is a member of the Kanien’kehá:ka, more commonly known as Mohawk. Lydia is an awarded writer and orator, and leads seminars on Indigenous history and antiracism. She is currently serving on the Department of the Interior's Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Council.