The Power and Potential of Stories - Rethink Outside

storytelling letter blocks with lightbulb

Date and Time:

Thursday, October 22, 2020, 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Presented by Blue Sky Funders Forum and The Joy Trip Project

Thursday, October 22, 3:30 - 5 pm Eastern

Learn more and register here. This event is free and open to all.

To mark the one-year anniversary of the Rethink Outside campaign, coordinated by Blue Sky Funders Forum, join us for a panel discussion on the importance of storytelling for social change. This unique event, moderated by James Edward Mills (The Joy Trip Project), will feature prominent storytellers who will share insights and inspiration on the power of creative expression as a means to create a future where everyone has positive experiences outdoors and shares the joy, health, growth, and sense of community that come with it.

This panel will discuss the growing movement to challenge and transform the current narrative about environmental issues, outdoor learning and recreation, and access to nature. The conversation will highlight the power of visual and written stories in communicating the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the outdoors; the value of shared messaging; and hopes for the role of storytelling in the environmental movement. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with panelists through Q&A and will also learn about opportunities to participate in the Rethink Outside campaign to bring the promise of healthy communities and meaningful outdoor experiences to all. 

Moderator: James Edward Mills is a freelance journalist who specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving, and practices of sustainable living. He has worked in the outdoor industry since 1989 as a guide, outfitter, independent sales representative, writer, and photographer. He is the author of The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors and the co-writer/co-producer of the documentary film An American Ascent.


L. Renee Blount is a Harvard-trained designer, photographer, and a long-time climber. She’s spent the past few years working simultaneously in innovation consulting and storytelling to illuminate untold stories and to rethink the future. Her photography is about making the outdoors much more accessible through joy. Her most recent clients include: Patagonia, The North Face, National Geographic, Climbing Magazine, and more.

Dr. Carolyn Finney is a storyteller, author and a cultural geographer. 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. 

Amara Ifeji is a youth activist and freshman at Northeastern University. In high school, she led her school's student-driven water quality management team, co-organized climate education learning initiatives, and joined the Maine Environmental Changemakers Network. Through MEEA Changemakers, Amara has advocated for intersectional climate justice solutions, and she was awarded the NAAEE 30 Under 30 International Award.

Malik Martin is a photojournalist from Memphis Tennessee. He uses his experiences of growing up in Memphis to connect with his community. He received his BA in communications studies from Arkansas State University and uses his lens to communicate with the world.