The Metroparks’ DEI Speaker Series and DEI Conversations are a way for us to share in open conversations, to expand our learning and advance the concepts and practices of diversity, equity and inclusion as it relates to our parks, community, region, state and beyond.
The theme for 2022 is Unity of Purpose; with the goal of establishing a common understanding of DEI issues. We will feature national, regional and local speakers presenting on a variety of topics related to the theme throughout the year.
If you have any speaker or topic recommendations, please send them to Artina Carter, Chief of DEI at Artina.Carter@metroparks.com.
2022 DEI Speaker Series and Conversation Schedule
- March 10 – Johann Hari, Bestselling author of Chasing the Scream and Lost Connections
- May 17 – Dr. Phillip Warsaw, Assistant Professor of Ecological Economics and Environmental Justice at Michigan State University
- June 9 – Jessica Nordell, Author The End of Bias
- September 8 – Warren Evans, Wayne County Executive
- December 8 – Ellen Ochoa, history-making astronaut and former director of the Johnson Space Center
Join us for our May conversation on Tuesday, May 17 at 1 p.m. where Dr. Warsaw will talk about the history of the Environmental Justice Movement, the impact of Redlining and its implications regarding access to green space and offer solutions on what we can do today to address Environmental Injustice. We invite you to join us and join in the conversation.
Dr. Warsaw is an Assistant Professor of Ecological Economics and Environmental Justice in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University. His research takes an interdisciplinary approach to questions of environmental justice, economic development, and sustainability, combining approaches from economics and the other social sciences. He holds a PhD in Economics as well as a Masters in Environment and Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Click here to view the webinar.
Dr. Warsaw Presentation
The second presentation in our DEI Speaker Series in 2022 will take place on Thursday, June 9 at 11 a.m. Join us to hear from acclaimed author, Jessica Nordell.
Unconscious bias is at the heart of some of our most pressing issues we all face. We see it across all communities, industries, and settings. But the question remains: how can we uproot prejudice that we are not consciously aware we have? Bias that operates, hidden in plain sight, against everything we say we stand for? In a talk based on her stunning debut book The End of Bias, acclaimed journalist Jessica Nordell weaves gripping, real-world stories with fascinating research to reveal how minds, hearts, and behavior changes. She scrutinizes diversity training, deployed across the land as a corrective but with inconsistent results. Most importantly, Jessica arms you with the knowledge and tools you need to confront bias in all forms and create a more equitable environment for everyone.
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
You can watch a recording of the third speakers in our series, featuring two exceptional women, Angelou Ezeilo and Kristine Stratton. During a special board meeting of the Huron-Clinton Metroparks Board of Commissioners on October 20, 2021, Angelou Ezeilo and Kristin Stratton spoke on why Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is important for parks and recreation.
Angelou Ezeilo is the Founder and CEO of Greening Youth Foundation. Angelou realized the disconnect between the land that was being preserved and the education of people about that preservation—particularly as it related to our next generation. This was the motivation for creating the Greening Youth Foundation. As CEO, Angelou is at the helm of a movement to provide environmental and wellness education and career pathways to a new generation. The Greening Youth Foundation is cultivating a generation of youth of color to be stewards of our land and natural resources, ultimately shifting the demographics of the environment conservation movement.
Kristine Stratton, President & Chief Executive Officer at National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is responsible for the nearly $20 million national organization that works to ensure that all people have access to parks for health, conservation and recreation. NRPA believes access to quality parks and recreation is a critical component to an individual’s success and to strong communities and focuses on underserved communities to give everyone access to a great park.
You can watch a recording of the second speaker in our series, Dr. Elizabeth Perry. During a special board meeting of the Huron-Clinton Metroparks Board of Commissioners on July 20, 2021, Dr. Elizabeth Perry provided a keynote address followed by Q&A to commissioners, staff and public listeners about how climate change is altering global systems, including parks and their resources worldwide and in our backyards. This creates challenges for management of these places, the recreation opportunities available, the visitor experience, and equity considerations. In this talk, Dr. Elizabeth Perry defined and illustrated climate change impacts across these park conditions and invited discussion on navigating the impacts as individuals, communities, and park stewards.
Watch Dr. Elizabeth Perry