Carolyn Finney, PhD is a storyteller, author and a cultural geographer. She is deeply interested in issues related to identity, difference, creativity, and resilience. In particular, Dr. Finney explores how issues of difference impacts participation in decision-making processes designed to address environmental issues. 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, Carolyn returned to school after a 15-year absence to complete a B.A., M.A. (both of these degrees focused on gender and environmental issues in Kenya and Nepal, respectively) and Ph.D. (which focused on African Americans and environmental issues in the U.S.) Through public speaking, writing and consulting 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. In order to meet the demands of this work Dr. Finney has recently resigned from her full-time position at the University of Kentucky. Her first book, Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors was released in 2014 (UNC Press).
Davis Filfred is a Navajo Nation Council delegate (for the chapters of Mexican Water, To’likan, Teesnospos, Aneth, and Red Mesa) and is the Navajo Nation’s co-representative on the Bears Ears Intertribal Coalition. Davis served in the United States Marine Corps and achieved the rank of Sergeant during the Persian Gulf War. Upon his return to Navajo Nation he joined the Navajo Nation Tribal Police in the Shiprock district. He has been the vice president of the Aneth chapter, and school board secretary at the Aneth school, as well as a representative and Commander for the Southeastern Utah Diné Veterans Organization. Davis lives in Aneth, Utah.
Founder - Green Chicano, Director Emeritus- Latino Outdoors, Partner- Avarna Group
José G. González is the Founder of Latino Outdoors. He is an experienced educator as a K-12 public education teacher, environmental education advisor, outdoor education instructor and coordinator, and university adjunct faculty. He is also an illustrator and science communicator. His commentary on diversity and environmental/outdoor equity has been featured by High Country News, Outside Magazine, Earth Island Journal, and Latino USA, and he engaged in collaborations with the White House Council on Environmental Quality, U.S. Department of Interior, and the National Park Service during the Obama Administration. He also represented Latino Outdoors in several coalitions including the Latino Conservation Alliance, the Next 100 Coalition, and California Parks Now. He has been recognized with several honors, including the National Wildlife Federation Environmental Educator Award, Grist Magazine “Grist 50”, and The Murie Center Spirit of the Muries, among others. You may have also seen him in various outdoor spaces or read his poetic musings. He received his B.A at the University of California, Davis, and his M.S at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment. You can connect with him on social media @JoseBilingue.
Molly Cuffe is the Director, Global Communications for Smartwool. Having grown up in the mountains of Montana, Molly’s love of the outdoors started at an early age and runs deep. So much so, she has made a career out of outdoor meetings – on ski chairlifts, along river beds, hiking in the mountains, and even wandering the sheep stations in New Zealand. Molly has a long history of utilizing storytelling and brand marketing to build passionate communities. She has created three award-winning media campaigns, which were also the topics of two Facebook case studies. Currently at Smartwool, she leads both the corporate communications and public affairs. Prior to Smartwool, Molly spent more than a decade in the destination travel and ski industries in numerous marketing and communications roles, including spokesperson for Colorado’s ski industry. She is a voice for public lands in her local community and Washington D.C. While she spends more time at indoor meetings these days, she’d rather be outside hiking, trail running, skiing, fly fishing or camping with her husband, David, and her two dogs, Fancy and Lucha.
As a self-proclaimed former couch potato, Luz Ortega was first introduced to the great outdoors through the non-profit, Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK). In the summer of 2015, Luz became an Urban Ranger with ELK, teaching urban youth in Denver about our Colorado’s great natural resources. After two summer seasons, Luz got the opportunity to go on her very first backpacking trip with Big City Mountaineers (BCM). On this transformative trip, Luz further developed her leadership skills that have transferred from the backcountry into her everyday life. Having seen Luz’s leadership skills, she was encouraged to apply for an Overnight Camp instructor position with BCM for the following summer. Being part of both the ELK and BCM families, Luz continues her path of impacting others by studying Social Work and Interpretation at the Community College of Aurora.
Robbie Bond, is the 10 year old founder of Kids Speak for Parks. He is the International Youth Ambassador for Litterati, a community empowering people to “Crowdsource- clean” the planet and a 2018 Ocean Hero. He was recently selected as the second place winner in the Action for Nature’s 2018 International Young Eco-Hero Awards. Robbie grew up on the island of Oahu and has always had a passion for the environment and the protection of our nation’s natural wonders. Since the early age of three, Robbie has been actively participating in beach clean ups, conferences, and various other efforts to protect the environment including speaking to his pre-K class about conservation and the importance of preserving our planet’s natural resources. He has received many medals and honors for academic achievements.
Robbie believe that the executive order President Trump signed in December of 2017 has put millions of acres of precious public land in jeopardy and he refuses to passively accept any attempt to further undermine or damage these unique landscapes. With so much in stake, Robbie created Kids Speak for Parks to ensure that our parks and monuments will remain protected long into the future. Robbie is committed to make sure his peers across the country learn to understand and appreciate how truly vital national parks and monuments are to our country and why they should be preserved for future generations.
As Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Bob Randall leads the development and execution of the Department's initiatives for balanced management of the state's natural resources. Bob previously served the Department as Deputy Director, as Assistant Director for Energy and Minerals and, prior to that, as Federal Lands Coordinator.
Prior to joining DNR, Bob was a staff attorney for Western Resource Advocates, a Colorado-based law and policy organization. Before moving to Colorado in 2004, Bob spent seven years as a staff attorney for Trustees for Alaska, a public interest environmental law firm in Anchorage, Alaska. Bob’s work in both of these posts focused on natural resources, particularly with regard to energy development, public lands management, and mining.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 42 state parks and more than 300 state wildlife areas. If you hunt, fish, hike or simply admire Colorado's wildlife and landscapes on a long drive, the work the DNR does affects your quality of life.
Franklin Cruz is a Latino queer poet living in Denver working in biology, diversity, equity, and inclusion, environmental justice, and performing arts. Franklin learned the power of his own voice and has performed throughout the country and hemisphere from the Southwest region, coast to coast, Peru, and Puerto Rico. He is an alumni of Minor Disturbance, Slam Nuba, Mercury Café Slam, and Café Cultura a grassroots indigenous spoken word artist collective. He has taught and performed at universities across Colorado. His performances range from Westword’s Artopia & Music Showcase, Denver Gay Pride, TedX Mile High, Denver Art Museum, and the Mayor’s award ceremony. Franklin's poetry reflect on being a first generation child of immigrant parents, being a brown queer child in a heteronormative patriarchy, and recalling the traditional indigenous faith of curanderismo. Franklin's aims to work to reconnect the public to nature through the intersectional approach of science and poetry.
My name is Cristal Cisneros and I am originally from Gary, Indiana. I use she, her, hers pronouns and I am first generation Mexican and I love the outdoors! I moved to Colorado six years ago after suffering a quarter-life crisis once I finished undergrad with a B.S in Biology. I always wanted to be a park ranger so when my sister convinced me to move here (rent free) and after telling me to google RMNP, I sold all my things and bought a one-way ticket to Denver. Now life has a funny way of working out, and I am not a park ranger (insert sad face emoji) but instead I am a curriculum and instruction coach for at a public school. I am currently working toward a doctorate in Education at the University of Colorado Denver, concentrating on diversity, equity, and inclusion. On my spare weekends, I am usually in the mountains taking up space as a Xicana Afuera with my two goldens Oso y Miel (Honey and Bear) doing your typical Colorado stuff. I have yet to climb a 14er, scandalous I know, but I plan to do that with Latino Outdoors this summer. Since joining LO I have been able to volunteer and become active in diversifying the outdoor community. I feel like I've just started a new chapter in el movimento and I am excited to continue the work to save lands laid out by my ancestors.