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#BlackBirdersWeek Celebrates Black Nature Enthusiasts

The inaugural #BlackBirdersWeek kicked off on Sunday. The virtual event came about in response to the racist incident in Central Park last week when a white woman called the police after a Black birder asked her to put her dog on a leash.

Campaign co-founder Sheridan Alford said she can relate with "trying to be out in the field, and do what we're either paid to do, or what we love, and having to deal with certain prejudices or things that we think of that other non-people of color might not think of."

Such microaggressions, she said, and a general misconception that Black people aren't interested in the outdoors can make it hard for some to take up the activity. She said she hopes #BlackBirdersWeek can help change that, because birding is for everyone.

"We're here as Black birders and as Black people in nature, and we love it just as much as everyone else loves it," Alford said. "You can go outside at any given time, anywhere in the world, and you can probably see a bird."

Alford's part of the group @BlackAFinSTEM that organized the week and its social media prompts: 

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Maggie Mullen, at mmullen5@uwyo.edu.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the .

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Maggie Mullen is a fifth generation Wyomingite, born and raised in Casper. She is currently a Masters candidate in American Studies and will defend her thesis on female body hair in contemporary American culture this May. Before graduate school, she earned her BA in English and French from the University of Wyoming. Maggie enjoys writing, cooking, her bicycle, swimming in rivers and lakes, and most any dog.
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