Free Talk on Oct. 30 to Examine Environmental Disconnect Between “Black Faces, White Spaces”

October 14, 2014

Tim Lucas, 919-613-8084,

DURHAM, N.C. – Author and educator Carolyn Finney will discuss her new book, “Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors,” in a free public talk at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, at Duke University.

A Q&A and book signing will follow her talk, which will take place in Duke Environmental Hall’s Field Auditorium at 9 Circuit Drive on Duke’s West Campus.  Seating is limited. To reserve a seat, RSVP before Oct. 25 here.

Finney is assistant professor of environmental sciences at the University of California at Berkeley and chair of the National Parks Advisory Board’s Relevancy Committee.  “Black Faces, White Spaces” was published this May by UNC Press.

In her talk at Duke, Finney, a geographer by training, will examine how the legacies of slavery, Jim Crow and racial violence have shaped cultural understandings of “the great outdoors” and shaped the relationship of African Americans to the environment and the environmental movement. In particular, she will explore the role of memory and identify in influencing African American environmental participation and the general disconnect between African American environmental professionals and their white counterparts regarding the perception of exclusion and racism within an environmental context.

The talk is part of the Conservation Trust for North Carolina’s “Conservation for All” series, and is co-hosted by Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

A free reception will precede Finney’s talk at 5:30 p.m. in the lobby outside Field Auditorium.