The Adirondack Experience (ADKX), a museum and nature campus, announced today that it will present an eight-part virtual program series focused on examining the intersections between racial and environmental justice. Titled Adirondacks for All: Identity & Environmental Justice in the North Country, the series will explore experiences of inequity and oppression in the Adirondacks and the ways in which those realities connect with issues of preservation, pollution, and access to land, water, and nature more broadly. Adirondacks for All is being developed in partnership with several local organizations, including the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, The Wild Center, and The Nature Conservancy in the Adirondacks, and is supported in part by a $50,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. To oversee the development of the program, ADKX has also hired Erik Reardon, a professor and scholar whose work has focused in particular on environmental history and Native American histories.
The Ticonderoga Historical Society will present a free public program on Friday, June 18 at 7 p.m. at the Hancock House, 6 Moses Circle, Ticonderoga. “The Story of Timbuctoo: Black Voting Rights in the Adirondacks” will open the museum’s exhibit and program theme for the year.
“History, Race and Gender in the Adirondacks” is a series of conversations, exhibits and programs addressing themes of gender and racial equality.
Program presenter will be Pete Nelson, who will offer a look into efforts to establish voting rights for free Blacks in the North Elba region of the Adirondacks in the 1840s. An avid writer, lecturer and Adirondack history buff whose articles appear regularly in numerous regional publications, Nelson is a mathematics teacher and history lecturer at North Country Community College, and a co-founder of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative. He has been involved in diversity work for more than three decades, from community work to academic institutions and politics.
The program will be held outdoors, under a tent and attendees should bring their own lawn chairs. Reservations may be made by calling the Hancock House at 518-585-7868 or via e-mail to: [email protected].
The Adirondack Park is a recreational destination in Upstate New York with more than 12 million visitors to the Park every year. While public lands are owned by all, and should be a welcoming, safe, and inclusive space, racial and economic disparities affect visitors, visitation rates, as well as perceptions of inclusion and safety.
While the Park is open to the public (with hardly any visitor fees), the Adirondacks attract predominantly white, male visitors. Research has traced this disparity as far back as the 18th century, when slavery was a harsh reality within the area.
This structural inequality has persisted to this day, with racially-targeted incidents, such as racist graffiti, have occurred in the Adirondack park. One of these occurrences targeted a regular park visitor, a Black woman who lives near the area. This unacceptable treatment of visitors of color is a pattern, bringing the divide apparent in the 18th century present to today.
One of the organizations working to combat this is the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, a collective which is seeking to make changes in the diversity and inclusion of the park. They are continually promoting equity and inclusivity by offering diversity training programs and educational resources about race. In addition, they are working with other groups, such as the Adirondack Mountain Club, who are focusing their efforts on getting children more comfortable and excited about being outdoors, while also teaching about the importance of an inclusive park.
Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve has honored the work of Nicole “Nicky”’ Hylton-Patterson, the executive director of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, a project of the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA). The group presented her with Adirondack Wild’s 2020 Wild Stewardship Award in recognition of her initiating and elevating difficult conversations about race, shared power, and influence in the Adirondack region over the past year. Such conversations are integral to improved and shared stewardship of the Adirondack Park.
Nicky Hylton-Patterson, joined by the ADI’s core team of volunteers, leads this necessary educational work in all its complexity. Adirondack Wild’s award recognizes Ms. Hylton-Patterson’s intelligence, personality, and courage, in addition to her collaborative and educational talents, which have all been brought to bear on anti-racism progression in the Adirondack Park.
“Nicky’s ‘Anti-Racism 101’ and other seminars are breaking down barriers and opening eyes, minds, and hearts. In just one year, cooperators have learned from her how to become accomplices through the consequential work of learning to become an antiracist,” reads Adirondack Wild’s award letter.
I begin this commentary stating three facts: Black lives matter; systemic racism is real and deeply woven into every fabric of this country; and it is not safe for Black, African American and persons of color to navigate daily life in the Adirondacks and North Country. Whether it’s the very real possibility of being murdered at the hands of the police, or experiencing daily microaggressions and unconscious biases, life for non-white peoples is often precarious.
Since the death of George Floyd, and subsequent protests condemning and denouncing police brutality, I have sat with my thoughts, searching for something to put in words, carefully considering whether my voice is necessary or if it’s taking up space.
Over the weekend, I watched Saranac Lake High School valedictorian Francine Newman stand in front of her peers, parents and teachers to deliver a thoughtful, forceful and deeply personal speech highlighting the racism she experienced growing up as an Asian American in Saranac Lake.
On Monday, June 29 from 6-7pm, Nicky Hylton-Patterson, Director of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, along with a panel of black activist scholars from across the region will be holding an online discussion about racism and being black in America.
The seminar is titled: “Antiracism 101: From antiracist actor to ally to accomplice, how do we get there?” The web event is the second in a series dedicated to activating, mobilizing, and engaging the Adirondack community on issues presented by racism and inequality. The session will be 25 minutes long followed by a 30 minutes Q&A with expert panelists via chat.
Antiracism 101 is part of the ADI’s Antiracism Education and Mobilization campaign and each session will give its viewers the tools, language, techniques and strategies to identify and understand, as well as build more racially just and equitable communities within the North Country.
The Adirondack Diversity Initiative (ADI), in partnership with the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA), will host a series of virtual “Listen-in” and “Teach-in” sessions focused on mobilizing the community on issues of racial equity and justice.
The first Listen-in session, “Antiracism 101: Checklist for white allies & activists,” will feature Nicky Hylton-Patterson, Director of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, and a panel of black activist-scholars from across the region for a discussion on the black experience in America. The virtual session will take place via Zoom on Monday, June 15, from 6-7 p.m.
ANCA stands with our Black sisters and brothers in this time of nation-wide grief and protest that have resulted from the murders of George Floyd and so many others. We stand with our Black sisters and brothers in declaring that Black Lives Matter. We stand with our Black sisters and brothers as America faces an inflection point, ready to do the hard work of making much-needed change.
This moment demands intentionality. Intentional language, intentional strategies, and intentional action to disrupt 400 plus years of racism and to dismantle the structural inequities that plague our nation.
I was sixteen when my father died. I could scarcely remember his face, since I was 10 years old when last I saw him. That’s when I left Jamaica to attend school in Norway. Yet, while his visage was a sunny-somewhat-mythologized blur, the memory of the day he died remains stark…
I was thinking, in class at Kvinnherad videregående skole, about how my little sister Nilla Brit had annoyed-the-faen out of me the entire morning.
Thinking about testing the teeny bit of sexual angst that had morphed into a full blown hormonal itch on Per Gunnar, the shy 6’3” 15-year-old redhead with the incandescent irises, bullet nose, and waiting-to-exhale gait who everyone called “spesiell” because of his tendency towards all things religious.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook, NY Thursday, December 12th, 2019.
The meeting will address consideration of a proposed telecommunication tower in Elizabethtown, a timber harvest plan for lands in Arietta and Lake Pleasant, authorizing proposed amendments to the Town of Indian Lake’s Local Land Use Program, and will get an overview of Adirondack Diversity Initiative’s six-month strategies and goals.
The Adirondack Diversity Initiative (ADI) has hired its first director. Nicole Hylton-Patterson of Bronx, N.Y., will take on the leadership position for the Initiative, which aims to make the Adirondack region a more welcoming and inclusive place for all residents and visitors.
Hylton-Patterson, acting director of a Westchester County college’s social justice center, will begin serving as ADI’s diversity director on December 2, 2019. She will be based at The Adirondack North Country Association’s office in downtown Saranac Lake. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA), on behalf of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, is welcoming applicants for the Initiative’s Diversity Director position. The new director will join ANCA’s staff at the regional nonprofit’s Saranac Lake office.
The Adirondack Diversity Initiative (ADI) is a volunteer-run collaboration of organizations and individuals who develop and promote strategies to help the Adirondack Park become more welcoming and inclusive to all New Yorkers, including visitors, seasonal residents and permanent residents.
On Tuesday, January 16, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his proposed budget for the state fiscal year that starts April 1. The tax bill recently approved in Washington, and the need to close a more than $4 billion budget gap have set the backdrop for a challenging budget year. In spite of this, Governor Cuomo presented a budget with a mixed bag of proposals: some good, and some bad.
This week, the Senate and Assembly passed their respective one-house budget bills, marking the beginning of three-way negotiations. They have announced their intent to pass a budget by March 29th, in hopes that they can finish the budget before Easter and Passover. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Diversity Initiative (ADI) is holding their 2017 Forum on Saturday, December 2nd at Heaven Hill Farm in Lake Placid.
The forum will focus on ADI’s future direction, new strategic plan, and current and future initiatives.
Samara Swanston, Legislative counsel to the Environmental Protection Committee of the New York City Council will speak her work in the Environmental Justice movement from “Dumping in Dixie” to NYC Environmental Justice Bills. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Diversity Initiative (ADI) has announced the hiring of outreach and communications specialist Melanie Reding.
Reding’s responsibilities are expected to include helping ADI improve its communication with affiliates, supporters and the public. This is the first hire for the previously all-volunteer organization. » Continue Reading.
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