The Keynote Address
The shared stories of our land, as they exist in western society, are contextualized within a colonized lens. Decision makers in land rights, politics, and public health were a select group of white, male and monied stakeholders. Laws and regulations were made without the perspectives of historically marginalized communities. The consequences of this fact have influenced the stories we tell, how we view ourselves and our shared belief systems. Storytelling is a way of reclaiming the narrative. The environmental field and conservation community is no exception. Through storytelling, we are challenging the seats of power and retelling stories about relationships with the land. The goal is to reframe our stories to include the perspectives of women, black and indigenous communities, and other historically marginalized communities. This is not only to get to a more truthful version of history, but also to inspire greater involvement by acknowledging the existence of an ongoing legacy of diverse environmental leaders and movements.
This keynote address will discuss the challenging history of storytelling about the land and the efforts Faith Briggs and others are making to empower historically marginalized communities by reframing and retelling these narratives.
Faith is a creative producer passionate about sharing contemporary stories from diverse communities. She is a self-described “professional nerd” whose day jobs have ranged from outdoor educator to barista, to working at Discovery Communications. Faith believes that artists have a responsibility to provoke the social conscience of a society. It is her desire to create nuanced work exploring themes of global citizenship and representation. Throughout her studies at Yale University and the New York University Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, she has focused on whose stories are being told, how they are being told and by whom. An avid runner who has always loved spending time outside, she left Discovery to travel the world with Columbia Sportswear. This work piqued her interest in environmental advocacy for the protection of at-risk communities. Now based in Portland, Oregon movement and environmental justice are often at the forefront of her storytelling.