Feather River College’s Spring Sustainability Series concludes with one final event on Earth Day, April 22, at 6:45pm. Exploring the topic “Environment + Race: Recreation Access and Public Lands,” panelists Faith E. Briggs, Mario Guel, Nizhoni O’Connell, and Maurice Huynh will discuss their experiences and perspectives. The four panelists share a passion for the outdoors as evidenced through their current careers and life choices.
“I’m so excited to get this conversation going! It’s such a relevant theme, given the never-ending need to increase awareness about racial inequities and the importance – for all people – to connect with nature,” said Dr. Darla DeRuiter, chair of the Sustainability Action Team and Plumas Earth Days Committee. “We hope you join us.”
During the event, the audience will have the opportunity to view Briggs’ film This Land. After the film, the panelists will engage in discussion as well as answer questions about recreation and race.
“Really looking forward to being a part of a panel to discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion in the outdoors and outdoor industry. Mama Earth is so very special and her beauty is meant to be enjoyed by everyone!” said Mario Guel.
Panelist Nizhoni O’Connell, a Plumas County local of Diné / Odawa and Irish / Austrian descent, is excited about the dialog. “Diversity and representation are always timely subjects in a world endeavoring to be more equitable. I look forward to hearing other perspectives on what ‘Race & Recreation’ means to the other panelists, and what it means to the public,” said O’Connell.
Boot Juice, a band that refuses to be defined by one genre of music, opens the event. Two band members are graduates of FRC’s Outdoor Recreation Leadership program, so get ready for some fun live music as you get settled for the event!
The free webinar starts at 6:45pm on Thursday, April 22 on Zoom https://cccconfer.zoom.us/s/98058643864 and is brought to you by FRC’s Sustainability Action Team, ORL Program Planning class, and Plumas Earth Days committee.
Event planners encourage viewers to join with a small group of friends and or family members to watch the event. COVID protocols are encouraged if interacting with others who are not in your household. If the webinar is full when you arrive, a livestream will be occurring at the Feather River College Environmental Studies YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcAYxSergbLtUxR5a5QhAng.
Environment + Race Panelists
Faith E. Briggs is a creative producer passionate about sharing contemporary stories from diverse communities who most need to be passed the mic. She is Brooklyn to Portland transplant, professional nerd and fierce advocate for a greener tomorrow. Her feet have brought her – running and trekking and fishing and riding – around the world. Her best known projects include This Land (2019), Brotherhood of Skiing (2018) and We Hike to Heal (2020). In March 2021 she launched a podcast called The Trail Ahead.
Mario Guel is a Bay Area native who now lives in the Sierra Nevada to pursue a love for fly fishing and the outdoors. He is owner and head guide for “Taco Fly Co.“, a fly fishing lifestyle brand and outfitter service celebrating the love for fly fishing, fun, and tacos! His Bay Area background includes skateboarding, knee injury and surgeries, and fishing, always fishing.
Nizhoni O’Connell (Diné/Odawa + Irish/Austrian) resides and grew up in Plumas County. She studied Earth and Planetary Sciences (AB ’16 Harvard University), focused in geology, and now ekes out existence perhaps not under a rock, but in the company of all sorts of interesting rocks. Nizhoni enjoyed a semester at FRC pursuing a certificate in Outdoor Recreation Leadership. She loves family, friends, community, and comic–as well as topographic–relief.
Maurice Huynh grew up in San Diego suburbia, but always dreamed of living in a small town somewhere in the mountains. Inspired by images of people hunting and fishing in the mountains in Outdoor Life magazine, he left San Diego as soon as he could and got Forestry degrees from UC Berkeley and Northern Arizona University. Having been introduced to Plumas County back in 1997 while attending Berkeley’s forestry field school, Maurice jumped at the chance to work for the Plumas National Forest. He happily moved to Quincy permanently in 2005 where he met his wife Jamie and started a family.
Spring Sustainability Series 2021
The first event of FRC’s Spring Sustainability Series took place in February: Environment + Justice, presented by Dr. Joan Parkin, FRC teacher and co-founder of the Incarcerated Student Program. Her discussion centered on how nature and prison are connected, encouraging viewers to gain a new perspective on the topic.
The second event occurred in March: Environment + Culture, hosted by Bridget Tracy. The topic of Maidu tradition, connection, and sustainable landscape management was discussed by a panel of Mountain Maidu. Lorena Gorbet, Les Hall, Danny Manning and Trina Cunningham talked about Traditional Ecological Knowledge, or TEK, especially the use of fire for tending the land.
The series started in 2015. It features speakers, films, and field trips focused on the environment and sustainability. Plumas Earth Days has celebrated local Earth Day events and activities since 2008. More information on this year’s Earth Days events can be found at Plumas Earth Days.