Posts Tagged ‘Adirondack Diversity Initiative’

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Most Adirondack Priorities Restored in Final State Budget

Adirondack Council logo

Lake Climate Studies, Clean Water Grants Secured; Timbuctoo Career Institute Funding Lower

Albany, NY – The Adirondack Council thanked Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie for working with Gov. Kathy Hochul to restore key Adirondack priorities in the $237-billion state budget, including money for scientific research and municipal clean water projects.

The Council also expressed thanks for the Legislature’s efforts to restore the full $500 million in annual funding to the state’s Clean Water grants program. The $250 million boost above the Governor’s original proposal will significantly improve the opportunities for Adirondack communities to obtain funding, the organization said. Rivers that flow from Adirondack lakes bring drinking water to millions of state residents.

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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Adirondack Wild presents annual meeting, awards on Oct. 6

Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve logo

Newcomb, NY – Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve presents its 2023 awards at an annual meeting on Friday, October 6, 2023, at the Newcomb Visitor Interpretive Center, operated by the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. The meeting is free and open to the public. Same day registration at the Newcomb VIC begins at 10:30 a.m. Award ceremonies begin at 2 p.m. For a full meeting agenda and to register, visit adirondackwild.org/events.

Steve Englebright, former chair of the New York State Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee, will receive the group’s highest honor, the Paul Schaefer Wilderness Award, for his embrace of the “forever wild” clause of the New York State constitution and his thirty-year record sponsoring environmental laws to improve the quality of life in the state.

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Thursday, September 14, 2023

Public invited to naming ceremony for John Thomas Brook in Onchiota, Sept.16

a stream on a cloudy day

Onchiota, NY — At noon on Saturday, September 16, there will be a public unveiling of a historic roadside marker to celebrate the recent naming of John Thomas Brook. The new name pays homage to 19th-century Black settler John Thomas, who escaped enslavement in Maryland and established a successful farm near the small stream in Vermontville, NY that was formerly known pejoratively as “N-word Brook” then as “Negro Brook.” Mr. Thomas, his wife Mary, and their son Richard are buried in Union Cemetery in Vermontville.

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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Why we don’t use the term “overuse”

Panelists speak about diversity, equity and inclusion at Camp Chingachgook in Fort Ann last week. Photo by Gwendolyn Craig

Camp Chingachgook in Fort Ann hosted a diversity, equity and inclusion panel on Friday evening providing interesting perspectives and discussion. The evening was sponsored by the Lake George Land Conservancy’s Next Generation Committee. The panel included Raul “Rocci” Aguirre, acting executive director of the Adirondack Council; Martha Swan, executive director and founder of John Brown Lives; Tiffany Rea-Fisher, director of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative; and Pete Nelson, co-founder of Adirondack Wilderness Advocates and the Adirondack Diversity Initiative.

It was one of the first public appearances for Rea-Fisher in her new role and one of the first for Aguirre since Willie Janeway announced he was stepping down.

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Sunday, February 19, 2023

ADK Park: Equity and Inclusion Discussion set for March 10

Lake George Land Conservancy logo.

Bolton Landing, NY – The Lake George Land Conservancy’s (LGLC) NextGen Committee has partnered with YMCA Camp Chingachgook to offer a unique look at issues of equity and inclusivity in and around the Adirondack Park.

On Friday, March 10, Camp Chingachgook will open its grounds to the public for an important discussion with the community. The talk, “Equity in Land Conservation and Recreation,” begins at 5:30 p.m., with guests encouraged to arrive early for drinks and an opportunity to walk to camp grounds. The panel is composed of Rocci Aguirre of the Adirondack Council, Pete Nelson and Tiffany Rea-Fisher of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, and Martha Swan of John Brown Lives!

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Monday, January 30, 2023

New diversity director; outgoing APA commissioner

Tiffany Rea-Fisher is the new director of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative.

The Adirondack Diversity Initiative has a new director starting next month, Tiffany Rea-Fisher. I spoke with her over the phone last week about her role as an area choreographer and her upcoming role at ADI. Rea-Fisher will take the helm after former Director Nicole Hylton-Patterson left in the fall.

I also spoke with members of ADI’s core team and staff with the Adirondack North Country Association, which houses the ADI program. There will be a push this state budgetary cycle for a $100,000 increase in what the state gave ADI last year ($300,000). You can read more about ADI’s new leader and the organization’s future in our story here.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Free Welcoming and Belonging Workshops Offered in Plattsburgh and Glens Falls on Nov. 15 and 16

Glens Falls and Plattsburgh, N.Y. — Small business and nonprofit personnel are invited to develop communication skills that will help them retain employees and support positive customer experiences at a free workshop presented by the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) and the Adirondack Diversity Initiative (ADI).

Free Building Welcoming and Belonging in the Workplace workshops will take place on Tuesday, November 15, 2022 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Old Council Chambers, Plattsburgh City Hall, Plattsburgh, N.Y., and Wednesday, November 16, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at WorkSmart Coworking and Meeting Place, 237 Glen Street, Glens Falls, N.Y. Small business owners, employees, aspiring entrepreneurs and nonprofit personnel in ANCA’s 14-county service region are invited to attend. Registration is open at adirondack.org/welcomingworkshop.

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Thursday, October 13, 2022

ANCA seeks new Adirondack Diversity Initiative director

nicky hylton-pattersonThe Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) has announced that Nicole Hylton-Patterson is stepping down from her role as director of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative after nearly three years heading the program. ANCA will convene a hiring committee made up of members of the economic development organization’s board and staff, as well as ADI Core Team members, to conduct a search for a new director.
Hylton-Patterson’s final day as ADI Director is Friday, October 14, 2022. The open job position will be posted on the ANCA website and shared broadly later this month.

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Friday, September 9, 2022

The art of nonviolent conversation

nonviolent communication

by David Yisrael Epstein-HaLevi, Adirondack Diversity Initiative

“How are you feeling?” 

It’s such a seemingly simple question — yet research by professor, lecturer and author Brené Brown has revealed that the average American adult has the ability to name only three feelings. How many can you name? Can you guess what they are?  Maybe take a moment before reading further and see how many you can actually write down.

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Saturday, May 7, 2022

Adirondack Experience to host racial and environmental justice series

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.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Program on Black Voting Rights in the Adirondacks

the first vote of a black person in america drawn by ar waud

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:  tihistory@bridgepoint1.com.


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Skidmore College Students Investigate Inclusivity in the Adirondack Park

Adirondack Park MapThe 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.

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Monday, November 30, 2020

ADI Director receives award from Adirondack Wild

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.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Courage and cowardice: Now’s the time to act

By Chris Morris

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.

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Monday, June 29, 2020

HAPPENING TONIGHT: ADI hosts Antiracism Seminar online

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.

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