Power of Parks for Health Roundtable
The National Park Service and National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) are partnering to host a roundtable event on the Power of Parks for Health, February 25, 2021 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST. Our panel will discuss present and historical barriers to outdoor access, current opportunities for engagement, as well as strategies to empower health connections to parks and public lands within the Black community.
During this event, we will:
- Discuss the Power of Parks for Health through the lens of Black stories and experiences.
- Provide a platform to recognize leaders who are strengthening connections for the Black community and their relationships to parks and public lands.
- Invite engagement in upcoming events being organized by all participants.
Watch the Event
- The Power of Parks for Health: Black History Month Roundtable
- Recommended activity before viewing the event: Please take a few minutes to watch the NPS Film Twenty & Odd and explore the online companion guide, as a backdrop to the event. Inspired by major themes from the film such as representation, health and nature, the Power of Parks for Health roundtable event continues the conversation on how parks can be a health resource for everyone.
Additional information about this event is available throughout this webpage.
Michael L. Chambers II
National Park Service
Chief of Partnerships, Volunteer & Youth Programs, National Capital Parks - East
A passionate, people focused, and service-driven cultural professional and consultant. Michael has worked at the local, state, and national levels managing and developing programs for a variety of cultural and natural resource organizations. He has produced living history vignettes, curated panel discussions, and led youth development programs. Currently, he directs partnerships, volunteer and youth programs for National Capital Parks-East. He also leads a cultural consulting practice, that seeks to foster new ways of presenting history and connecting new audiences. He earned a B.A. in African American Studies, at the University of Alabama, Birmingham and is currently pursuing a Master's in Museum Studies at the Johns Hopkins University.
National Park Service
Historian, African American Civil Rights Network
Porsha Ra’Chelle Dossie is a staff historian in the Office of the Chief Historian with the National Park Service where she serves as the program historian for the African American Civil Rights Network. Porsha received her MA from the University of Central Florida, and has been with the National Park Service since 2018.
Dr. Aby Sene-Harper's work advances socially and ecologically just approaches to management of public lands and cultural resources in the US and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her research is situated at the intersections of protected areas, Race and ethnicity, tourism, and livelihoods. In the US her work examines how history and culture influence African American relationships with nature. She seeks new ways of interpreting nature and outdoor experiences within the consciousness of Blacks to challenge static ideologies. She has led several National Park Service funded research projects including one designed to the agency in partnership development and philanthropy to engage African American partner organizations in support of national park units.
National Parks Conservation Association
Next Generation Advisory Council Member
A nature enthusiast, avid bird watcher and Cleveland, Ohio native, Nicole is an alumna of the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University. She earned her B.S. degree in Environmental Education and Interpretation (2011). She is an environmental educator who has worked for various non-profits implementing programs across Central Ohio for the past decade focused on conservation, urban gardening, green jobs, and outdoor recreation. Her main goal as an educator is to help people of color find access to local resources that connect them to fun nature experiences and become environmental stewards. Nicole is always looking for opportunities to learn something new and help others see the brilliance and lessons of the natural world around them. Some of her recent roles include Natural Leader of the Children & Nature Network, a member of the National Parks Conservation Association's Next Generation Advisory Council, co-organizer of Black Birders Week and founder of Black in National Parks Week.
Soul Trak Outdoors
Tyrhee is a mountaineer and outdoor education advocate born and raised in southeast Washington, D.C. The West Virginia University graduate has amassed an impressive list of climbs, including Grand Teton, Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, and Denali (as a member of the first all-African American team to attempt the peak). Through his personal outdoor experiences, he became passionate about diversity in the outdoors and speaks around the country on topics regarding the adventure gap and conservation leadership. In 2018, Tyrhee founded Soul Trak Outdoors, a D.C.-based nonprofit that connects communities of color to outdoor spaces while also building a coalition of diverse outdoor leaders. The organization runs a variety of programs that reach youth, college students, and adults within the community who are seeking opportunities for new adventures and knowledge. By engaging minorities, the goal is to develop a representative community in the outdoors that reflects our nation, and to facilitate educational and skill-based instruction that expands understanding and interest in public lands.
Last updated: May 5, 2021