Helpful Links

On this page you will find references and links to colleagues and organizations helpful in the development of multicultural environmental education.

Christine Sleeter

White-bread-shadowWhite Bread, Weaving Cultural Past into the Present

Christine Sleeter, Professor Emerita, California State University, Monterey Bay,  has written many books on multicultural education and has recently published her first novel.  White Bread tells a story of a white teacher who, by confronting her own family's German immigrant history and the secrets that have been hidden from her, learns to build a bridge between herself and her immigrant students.

Lauret Savoy


Sand and stone are Earth’s fragmented memory. Each of us, too, is a landscape inscribed by memory and loss. One life-defining lesson Lauret Savoy learned as a young girl was this: the American land did not hate. As an educator and Earth historian, she has tracked the continent’s past from the relics of deep time; but the paths of ancestors toward her—paths of free and enslaved Africans, colonists from Europe, and peoples indigenous to this land—lie largely eroded and lost.

In this provocative mosaic of personal journeys and historical inquiry across a continent and time, Lauret Savoy explores how the country’s still unfolding history, and ideas of “race,” have marked her and the land. From twisted terrain within the San Andreas Fault zone to a South Carolina plantation, from national parks to burial grounds, from “Indian Territory” and the U.S.-Mexico Border to the U.S. capital, Trace grapples with a searing national history to reveal the often unvoiced presence of the past.

Attentive to the rhythms of language and landscapes, Lauret weaves together human stories of migration, silence, and displacement, as epic as the continent they survey, with uplifted mountains, braided streams, and eroded canyons. Trace delves through fragmented histories—natural, personal, cultural—to find shadowy outlines of other stories of place in America.

Every landscape is an accumulation, reads one epigraph. Life must be lived amidst that which was made before. Lauret Savoy lives there, making sense of this land and its troubled past, reconciling what it means to inhabit terrains of memory—and to be one. Though deeply personal, Trace concerns who we all are in this terrain called the United States, inviting readers to have a more honest understanding of history’s impact in our lives.

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Carolyn Finney

 coverfinney Black Faces, White Spaces

Why are African Americans so underrepresented when it comes to interest in nature, outdoor recreation, and environmentalism? In this thought-provoking study, Carolyn Finney looks beyond the discourse of the environmental justice movement to examine how the natural environment has been understood, commodified, and represented by both white and black Americans. Bridging the fields of environmental history, cultural studies, critical race studies, and geography, Finney argues that the legacies of slavery, Jim Crow, and racial violence have shaped cultural understandings of the "great outdoors" and determined who should and can have access to natural spaces.

Drawing on a variety of sources from film, literature, and popular culture, and analyzing different historical moments, including the establishment of the Wilderness Act in 1964 and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Finney reveals the perceived and real ways in which nature and the environment are racialized in America. Looking toward the future, she also highlights the work of African Americans who are opening doors to greater participation in environmental and conservation concerns.

Carolyn Finney, Ph.D. is a writer, performer and cultural geographer. As a professor in Geography at the University of Kentucky, she is deeply interested in issues related to identity, difference, creativity, and resilience.  In particular, she explores how issues of difference impacts participation in decision-making processes designed to address environmental issues.   More broadly she likes to trouble our theoretical and methodological edges that shape knowledge production and determine whose knowledge counts. Carolyn is grounded in both artistic and intellectual ways of knowing - she pursed an acting career for eleven years, but a backpacking trip around the world and living in Nepal changed the course of her life. Motivated by these experiences, she returned to school after a 15-year absence to complete a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. The aim of her work is to develop greater cultural competency within environmental organizations and institutions, challenge media outlets on their representation of difference, and increase awareness of how privilege shapes who gets to speak to environmental issues and determine policy and action.

Visit her website.


NPR Special Series

National Park Service Centennial, March 9, 2016 Don't Care About National Parks? The Park Service Needs You To

 Implicit Bias:

  Medin, Douglas L and Bang, Megan. Who’s Asking?: Native Science, Western Science, and Science Education, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2014.

 Drew Lanham

 Jourdan Keith

 Glenn Nelson’s 



Alex Russ et al, Urban Environmental Education Narratives

PDF (2016) Published by the North American Association for Environmental Education and Cornell University Civic Ecology Lab Alex Russ with Adam Green, Adam Liebowitz, Anthony Archino, Jennifer Plewka, Carol Kennedy, Chrissy Word, Damian Griffin, Jennifer Beaugrand, Jennifer Plewka, Julien Terrell, Andre Rivera, Celina Medina, Elizabeth Severino, Nia Terrelonge, and Victor Davila       



EPA's Community Cultural and the Environment: A Guide to Understanding a Sense of Place