Keynote Speaker

           Meet this Year's Keynote Speaker: Taishya Adams

 Join us on Friday, April 3 for Taishya's Keynote Address: The Golden Thread - Leveraging Equity to Strengthen Environmental Education 

Equity is the latest in a series of big ideas that seeks to level the playing field.  Though there is no universal agreement on the definition of this word, there is a deep body of research coupled with lived experience on what equity can mean and what it looks like in action.  After unpacking equity terms like inclusion, diversity, and cultural competence, we will explore how these terms show up at three levels of change: individual, organizational culture, and systemic. At the individual level, we will explore ways to acknowledge and understand our own identifies and their intersections with a focus on how these identities how we interact with ourselves and the world.  At the organizational culture level, we will discuss why it is critical to reclaim all our complex cultural and linguistic histories and perspectives to truly inspire and collaborate with diverse stakeholders.   At the systemic level, we will discover the unique opportunities and challenges of using the golden thread of equity to strengthen the virtual and horizontal alignment within environmental education and across sectors. 

Come join Taishya, a passionate and dedicated servant leader, as she reflects on her own equity journey and learn strategies to be a change agent in your personal and professional lives.  Appointed by Governor Jared Polis to serve on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission – the first African American woman in the Commission’s history - Taishya also serves as the Outdoor Afro Colorado Co-Lead.  Outdoor Afro is a national non-profit organization with leadership networks (80 leaders in 30 states from around the country), who connect thousands of people to outdoor experiences and who are changing the face of conservation. Taishya is the founding Board President for New Legacy Charter School – a public charter high school and early learning center for teen parents and their children in Aurora, Colorado.  Currently, Taishya works at the American Institutes for Research as a Senior Education Consultant laser focused on equity, diversity and inclusion. Previously, Taishya worked with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, the DC Public Charter Schools Board, Global Classrooms Washington, DC, and the Children Defense Fund Freedom Schools. Taishya holds a MA in International Education from George Washington University and a BA from Vassar College.