Be part of a conversation about news coverage of diversity, equity and inclusion in the North Country.
The Adirondack Explorer and North Country Public Radio are teaming up to do deeper reporting on diversity and inclusion issues across the region.
Join us at 12:30 p.m. Monday, July 31 at the Adirondack Center for Writing, 15 Broadway in Saranac Lake, for an informal, open discussion that will serve to launch our collaborative reporting on diversity and inclusion in the Adirondack region. We’ll also be joined by Tiffany Rea-Fisher of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative.
3pm Thursdays in July and August in the Memorial Field at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site, 115 John Brown Way, Lake Placid
FACILITATORS July 6: Dr. Shenell Evans, Shawndel N. Fraser, MA July 13: Pete Nelson July 20: Jerilea Zempel July 27: Mike Bishop August 3: Kathy Bonavist, Yunga Webb August 10: Ellen Bettmann, Dr. J.W. Wiley August 17: Russ DeFonce August 24: Melissa Lambert, M Ed August 31: Jen Kretser, Dr. Martin Tyler
The New York Outdoor Recreation Coalition and the Open Space Institute released a report on how the state needs to do more when it comes to making open spaces and parks more inclusive, equitable and accessible. This issue was part of our solutions reporting on how to make sure the Adirondack Park is welcoming for all people. You can see our series on solutions to visitor management here: https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/solutions.
A couple of weekends ago, I paddled along with a group of mostly first-time Adirondack canoeists as they watched loons and enjoyed the soothing waters of Little Green Pond and Little Clear Pond — adjacent water bodies near Paul Smiths and the St. Regis Canoe Area wilderness. It was a rare occasion in this park when I stood out for the color of my skin — white. And that was by design.
Soon visitors, permanent and summer residents and travelers along NYS Routes 28/30 will be greeted with banners welcoming everyone to the Town of Indian Lake. The banners read “All Are Welcome Here” followed by the new Indian Lake Logo and multicolored hand-prints framing the perimeter.
The banners are the result of a partnership between the Indian Lake Equality and Justice Committee (Committee) and the Indian Lake Town Council (Board). Funding for the banners is coming from private and organizational donations. The Town Highway Department will install the banners on designated utility poles.
In response to numerous events demonstrating racial intolerance both at the national and regional level, a resolution was proposed and approved last July by the Board endorsing the Town’s commitment to be a welcoming, inclusive and safe community for all. In part, the resolution reads: “WHEREAS, it is essential that the Town of Indian Lake commits itself to ensuring equality, equal justice and opportunity for all regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation”. The resolution further encourages all residents to take actions to support that goal.
The Committee was formed to demonstrate through the creation and sponsorship of activities, that our community is truly committed to equality and justice for all. In addition to the Banner Project, the Committee was an active participant in the Hamilton County Police Reform and Reinvention Collaboration Plan; providing input to the plan by suggesting additional considerations to include the use of body cameras and policies for their use. As the Committee moves forward it will partner with the County, Town, community organizations, local businesses, religious institutions and the Indian Lake Central School to enhance awareness of social issues and to be more tolerant and welcoming toward others different from ourselves.
The Adirondack Experience (ADKX) and The Wild Center have received significant grant funding to advance their own diversity goals and those of the region.
The funding is expected to enable them to conduct research and staff training, and revise internal policies and procedures. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), a federal agency, is supporting the initiative with a $211,874 grant from its “Museums Empowered” program. Empire State Development (ESD)’s “Market New York Program” will provide an additional $129,945 in funding. » Continue Reading.
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.
I have spent a fair amount of time in Saranac Lake and have come to very much appreciate “The Little City in the Adirondacks.” While I recognize that tourism is a vital part of its economic identity, I have always seen Saranac Lake as a community distinctly of and for its residents, possessing quite a different feel than the international resort atmosphere found in its neighbor Lake Placid.
Yet Saranac Lake’s variety, its youthful vibe, its cultural amenities and its sophistication belie its small-town size (a shade over 5,000 people) and gives it a more urban feel than one would expect to find smack dab in the middle of the Park.
But if I already knew that Saranac Lake was a nice, even surprising town, it took participation in the inaugural Saranac Lake Street Fest last month to discover that it deserves a much more rarified descriptor. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Saranac Lake is hip. » 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.
June is LGBT Pride Month, a time when LGBTQI+ community members, family, friends and advocates acknowledge and celebrate the gift of diversity that is unique to each of us. Many municipalities host “Pride Parades” where LGBTQI+ community members outwardly profess their rights to live freely and openly as themselves. This is also a time to acknowledge the many accomplishments of LGBTQI+ community members both past and present as well as mark strides in our current social/political arenas. » Continue Reading.
In the late 1970s, the New York State Human Rights Commissioner was about to find the Plattsburgh Elks Club guilty of violating state laws against racial discrimination. Rather than acquiesce, the club opted for a drastic, self-punishing move: refusing all public rentals of its facilities rather than allow local blacks to rent them. Surrendering their official “public accommodation function” (under state regulations, renting the building or grounds to anyone) was accomplished by adopting a new rule: “The use of the club’s facilities and accommodations shall be granted only to members of the Elks, to sodalities, auxiliaries, and other organizations associated or affiliated with the Elks, and to their guests.” » Continue Reading.
Context is everything. So, without cherry-picking, here’s the exact, complete quotation from a longtime member and former leader defining a prominent group in Plattsburgh back in 1976. “The Elks are a fraternal organization based on the principles of charity, justice, brotherly love, and fidelity. Membership is open to men 21 years of age or older who are citizens of the United States, believe in God, and have not been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor involving moral issues. There is no discrimination against race, religion, politics, economic status, or any other circumstances.” » Continue Reading.
The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) have announced that New York will once again provide free First-Time Camper weekends this summer. Families that have never camped before will have the opportunity to enjoy the popular outdoor activity and be provided equipment, guidance, and programs at select campgrounds. » Continue Reading.
At Plattsburgh’s Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration in 1990, Chairperson Vivian Papson shared a personal recollection of Jackie Archer with the Press-Republican’s Anne Smith:
“The first time I made contact with Jackie was in 1987. My introduction to her was a firm yet musical voice on the phone saying, ‘I’m Jacqueline Archer. I live in Plattsburgh and I think that this community needs to have a way to celebrate Dr. King’s birthday. I would like to organize a commemorative gathering; would you be interested in working with me?’ Everyone is very proud of Jackie. She is confined to a wheelchair but has tremendous spirit and interest in the community. She is unbelievably active.” » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Almanack is a public forum dedicated to promoting and discussing current events, history, arts, nature and outdoor recreation and other topics of interest to the Adirondacks and its communities
We publish commentary and opinion pieces from voluntary contributors, as well as news updates and event notices from area organizations. Contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The information, views and opinions expressed by these various authors are not necessarily those of the Adirondack Almanack or its publisher, the Adirondack Explorer.
General inquiries about the Adirondack Almanack should be directed to editor Melissa Hart.
To advertise on the Adirondack Almanack, or to receive information on rates and design, please click here.