On Tuesday, February 21, Taimur Ahmad, a participant in The Center for Jackson Hole’s Emerging Leaders Program (“ELP”), will convene a diverse group of stakeholders to explore ways to engage under-represented communities in recreational opportunities on public lands in the Washington, DC, area. Nearly 20 representatives of organizations including the National Park Service, Outdoor Afro, Patagonia and The Wilderness Society are expected to attend.
The meeting will take place from 12-2 PM in the REI Community Room, 201 M St. NE, Washington, DC 20002. Ahmad, a Recreation and Policy Fellow with The Wilderness Society, will facilitate the discussion alongside Ryan Sarafolean, Senior Development Associate of City Kids Wilderness Project.
Assisting Ahmad and Sarafolean in the development of the agenda was the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Chloë de Camara, another ELP alumni.
The Emerging Leaders Program, developed in conjunction with The Teton Science Schools, trains a culturally diverse group of young outdoor recreationists to lead the conservation conversation at the annual SHIFT Festival and beyond. To continue the work begun at SHIFT in 2016, from February 23-26, Emerging Leaders will reconvene to explore the creation of organizational structure for ELP with the ultimate goal of scaling its impact around the US.
“ELP blew open doors for me in terms of making connections and finding opportunities in the outdoor rec, conservation, and cultural relevancy space,” said Ahmad. “It is largely thanks to ELP that I was able to participate in organizing this discussion in the first place. The program was also critical in helping me build the infrastructure (not just in terms of people but also ideas) for the gathering.”
At the D.C. discussion, individuals and representatives working in the respective areas of youth/community engagement, land management, conservation, and recreation will focus on real and perceived barriers to outdoor access as participants identify opportunities for collaboration between their respective organizations. Participants are expected to include the following: