The Black Experience in The Adirondacks: Non-Black POCs speak on recreating in the outdoors
Time & Location
About the Event
Although good data on who visits the Adirondacks is difficult to come by, those studies that do exist indicate the overwhelming number of visitors are white. A 2017 study conducted for the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, for example, estimates that white people constituted 96.1%, 94.2% and 96.8% of all visitors to Essex, Franklin, and Hamilton counties. People of color are, however, drawn to the region. Join us as our panelist discuss why they enjoy the Adirondack region, why it is important to have more representation of people of color enjoying the outdoor amenities the region has to offer, and why it is important to attract more people of color to the region.Michael DeJesus – Mike’s life long work has been about creating opportunities for disadvantaged communities in education. He enjoys a myriad of outdoor activities particularly biking, clay shooting, hiking, and camping. He has recently started running in the last year and is newly certified for boating in the last month. Mike is married to his lovely wife Lisa who currently works for NYS DEC also enjoys the great outdoors.
- Chris Fay – Chris is a Professor at the Universite du Quebec a Montreal (UQAM, Canada). Since 2015 he is a Consul for “Montreal Stay Active Group,” which is part of InterNations https://www.internations.org . where he helps people/professionals, coming from different countries and living in Montreal, to discover North East regions through outdoors. He enjoys hiking, biking, and kayaking.
- Chris Fernando – Chris has a deep affinity for being active and the outdoors. He’s an avid hiker and proud Adirondack Winter 46er (#9477). He also loves to run, ski, bicycle, swim, and participate in triathlons. He also has had enjoyable experiences ice climbing, indoor rock climbing, and kayaking. He hopes to share that love with others while learning from them, too!
- Benita Law-Diao -Benita is a NYS licensed dietitian/nutritionist, retired from the NYS Dept. of Health (NYDOH) in 2019 after 32 years of public health service. She is currently a Food Recall Auditor for the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) and has worked as a USFDA Commissioned Tobacco Inspector and USDA Food and Nutrition Services Store Reviewer. Throughout her life she has had a passion for the environment and sustainable living. Through her work at the NYSDOH, she and her co-workers helped to market and encourage the re-opening of the Erie Canal as a recreational asset for NYS by riding bicycle across the state for 3 consecutive years. As past President and National Board Member of Hostelling International USA, she worked to encourage more people of color to participate in travel through hostels. As Benita travels around the world learning about different people and cultures, working on climate change, public and environmental health projects, she is usually the only person of color at the table. She has worked to encourage, educate and create access for people of color to experience the wonderful things that she has been privileged to do and see, on a budget. Benita loves nature journaling, hiking, bicycling, kayaking, traveling, birdwatching, landscape photography and volunteering for citizen science environmental projects.