Kao Thao, Minnesota State Park Naturalist, will present “Stories from a POC Environmentalist.”
Kao believes that we, as Minnesotans, are fortunate to have abundant parks and wildlife spaces supported by some of the best environmental protection practices in the nation. In addition to telling stories of his own experiences as a person of color (POC) working as an environmentalist, he will highlight how Minnesota’s increasing diversity is a strength that can continue to improve the enjoyment and protection of our environment.
Kao Thao graduated from the University of Minnesota with a combined degree in Computer Graphics and Fisheries/Wildlife. He says that being one of the few POC environmentalists in Minnesota has its rewards and challenges. “I was born in Laos during the Vietnam War and spent my first eight years living and running through the jungles before crossing the Mekong River to Thailand.” During these years, I remember seeing how we depended on nature for survival. As a Park Naturalist in the late ’90s, I was the first Southeast Asian Naturalist in the nation. Now, I want all Minnesotans to understand how important it is to protect our planet’s limited resources and recruit more people of color to the outdoors.
The presentation will also be available via Zoom. https://us06web.zoom.us/j/88921240287