Brown Faces and Green Spaces


The panelists discussed bringing the beauty of nature to diverse communities, in their capacities as activists, academics, CEOs and community leaders. Outdoor spaces should be for everyone to enjoy, however white-dominated narratives surrounding the outdoors often exclude POC. This can often create obstacles where people of color don’t have access to safe experiences in the natural world, and are often met with discrimination when they do. The panelists will delve into how they are breaking that cycle and creating safe spaces for POC to enjoy and connect with nature. They discussed how limited access to the outdoors affects marginalized communities, the discriminatory systems that make it harder for POC to enjoy nature, and the ways that they’re pushing past them. 


Brown Faces, Green Spaces: Rethinking Equity in the Outdoors

Panelist Bios:

Nigel Golden

Dr. Nigel Golden is an Arctic researcher who studies the response of Arctic species to climate change at the Woodwell Climate Research Center. He works on modeling the populations and genomics of Arctic wildlife to inform wildlife management and conservation. He supports the operation of the Polaris Project. 

Efraín Chávez Delgado

Efraín (he/him) works with Justice Outside as a Grantmaking & Program Manager for the Liberated Paths Grantmaking Program. In his role, he is tasked with supporting historically under-funded organizations and programs that are led by Black, Indigenous, and communities of color (BIPOC) in building power and impact in the outdoors.

Franklyn Mena

Franklyn is a Senior Field Instructor, at Team Wilderness. Team Wilderness is a nonprofit organization that uses an experiential educational model to teach urban teenagers teamwork, leadership, and character. Franklyn works tirelessly to engage with communities of color in the outdoors, and making their experience transformative and informative. 

Claudia Urdanivia

Claudia Urdanivia is a community development practitioner and food systems professional currently based in Queens. Claudia has worked in various capacities to uplift the voices of  communities of color through developing and sustaining community garden spaces in New Jersey and, most recently, the Bronx. She is also a food systems educator for youth and adults, and has experience facilitating popular education workshops at 4-H Youth Development. As a longtime gardener, Claudia has recently experimented with growing Andean crops from her homeland, such as aji amarillo and huacatay. She is passionate about Andean cultures, indigenous agricultural knowledge, food sovereignty, and the well-being of our planet. Most recently, she began the Master Composter program at the Queens Botanical Garden.