Counterstory to environmental movement.

Whiteness is central to power in the United States. Racial hegemony was
fundamental to the country’s nation-building and the backbone for the nation’s naturebuilding. White upper-class urban men nurtured concepts of nature and race to create a
dominant storyline steeped in racial stereotypes that permeated the American conservation
movement and modern environmentalism. The narrative helped White people justify their
social hierarchies, expulsions, enslavements, internments, segregations, and exclusions of
people of color from nature. The narrative catalyzed notions of people of color’s intrinsic
lack of interest —and therefore lack of belonging— in nature, ignoring people of color’s
histories of participation and unique relationships to nature and the environment. The
dominant narrative reinforced and was reinforced by racialized institutional structures to
exclude people of color from environmental decision-making, even defining the meaning of
environmental jobs. White spaces, institutions, and narratives have had enduring
repercussions for people of color’s sense of place in the outdoors manifested through
traditional environmental workforce recruitment and retention practices and workforce
demographics.

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