Winter 23 Theme: Black Ecologies and Placemaking



Carolyn Finney


Memory Divine: Black Faces, Green Spaces & Playing the Long Game


“I wonder where is all my relation…” – David Drake, Black Potter



Dr. Carolyn Finney is a storyteller, author and a cultural geographer who is grounded in both artistic and intellectual ways of knowing - she pursued an acting career for eleven years, but five years of backpacking trips through Africa and Asia, and living in Nepal changed the course of her life. Motivated by these experiences, Carolyn returned to school after a 15-year absence to complete a B.A., M.A. and a Ph.D. in Geography at Clark University (where she was a Fulbright and a Canon National Science Scholar Fellow). 

Along with public speaking, writing, media engagements, consulting & teaching, she served on the U.S. National Parks Advisory Board for eight years. Her first book, Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors was released in 2014. She is currently working on her new book of creative non-fiction that takes a more personal journey into the very complicated relationship between race, land & belonging in the United States. Along with being the new columnist at the Earth Island Journal, she was recently awarded the Alexander and Ilse Melamid Medal from the American Geographical Society and is a scholar-in-residence in the Franklin Environmental Center at Middlebury College. 


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