Dr. Carolyn Finney to serve as core faculty at the William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
The William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations, the flagship program of Wildacres Leadership Initiative, announces Dr. Carolyn Finney as core faculty for the 2017-2019 fellowship cycle. Executive Director Abdul Rasheed shared the organization’s excitement, “In Dr. Carolyn Finney we have someone who is both a nationally recognized member of the academy and also lives, teaches and practices leadership as part of her life journey.”
As core faculty, Dr. Finney will work in-person with Friday Fellows during the seminars and engage them directly throughout the Fellowship experience. Sayra Pinto, Director of Leadership Education for the Wildacres Leadership Initiative added, “Carolyn Finney is an internationally renowned scholar and interdisciplinary practitioner who inspires a new generation of interdisciplinary leaders concerned with redefining how we build narratives that engage our imaginations and our hearts in the effort to build a more sustainable loving world.” The new cohort of Friday Fellows can expect a truly unique experience with Dr. Finney joining as core faculty.
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. Carolyn has appeared on the Tavis Smiley show, MSNBC, NPR and has been interviewed for numerous newspapers and magazines. Along with public speaking, writing and consulting, she serves on the U.S. National Parks Advisory Board that is working to assist the National Park Service in engaging in relations of reciprocity with diverse communities. As a national spokesperson, she is part of The Next 100 Coalition-a first-of-its-kind coalition of civil rights, environmental justice, conservation and community leaders from around the country who put together a vision statement and policy document on diversity and public lands for the Obama Administration. Her first book, Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors was released in 2014 (UNC Press).