Synergy Sangha: “A Walk In the Park” with Audrey Peterman
We were so incredibly grateful to have Audrey join us for our weekly Sangha and discuss her new book and her life experiences mobilizing communities of color in natural spaces & public lands.
Audrey Peterman migrated from Jamaica to the US in 1978 and lived in New York State until 1985 when she followed the sun to Florida. She met and married her best friend Frank Peterman in 1992. Together they indulged their love of adventure, traveling the capitals of Europe including London, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin. But when they “discovered” the national parks of America on a road trip around the country in 1995 and saw no black or brown people, they resolved to help make a change.
21 years later, January 12, 2017, the Petermans got the call from the White House that their mission was accomplished: President Obama issued an official memorandum to the federal agencies managing the parks and forests, requiring that they actively take steps to invite all communities, with a particular focus on those who have not been included before. Mrs. Peterman has served on the boards of numerous national conservation organizations, including 15 years as a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Parks Conservation Association, and is a leader in the Next100 Coalition.
She and her husband shared their experiences in the parks as coauthors of the book, Legacy on the Land: A Black Couple Discovers Our National Inheritance and Tells Why Every American Should Care, (2009). Mrs. Peterman wrote the travel guide: Our True Nature: Finding a Zest for Life in the National Park System, (2012) and cofounded the Diverse Environmental Leaders Speakers Bureau (www.delnsb.com) in 2014. Mrs. Peterman and her husband have a blended family including 19 grandchildren and five great grandchildren. They live on their sailboat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Legacy on the Land: A Black Couple Discovers Our National Inheritance and Tells Why Every American Should Care by Audrey & Frank Peterman
“The book tracks our odyssey through the
National Park System since 1995.
It unveils the wonders of nature and the
awesome beauty awaiting all Americans
in our national parks. It shares the historic
contributions that Americans of color –
and particularly African Americans,
have made to the system. It looks at
natural resource protection and climate change,
and our role in connecting these issues
to the general population.”
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