During the COVID-19 pandemic, outdoor spaces have taken on new significance as we struggle to address the need for connection without the health risk that now comes with enclosed places. While some of us may be rediscovering parks and trails that we once took for granted, others may be feeling the stressors of unwelcoming or inaccessible outdoor areas more than ever before. Join facilitator Mareshah “MJ” Jackson to discuss what makes an outdoor space a “safe” space. How does one’s identity intersect with security in a park, on a trail, or on a patio? In what ways have our perceptions of these spaces changed since the pandemic and recent protests, and how may they change in the years to come? This conversation is a chance to reflect on the role open spaces play in our lives and how our perceptions may differ from each other’s.
Mareshah "MJ" Jackson is a graduate student in strategic communication at the University of Oregon and communication and development coordinator at Hoyt Arboretum. A recent transplant from Los Angeles, she’s fascinated by recreational outdoor spaces in urban areas. When she's not recovering from all-nighters, you can find her running through Portland, taking pictures of signs in public places, and window shopping.
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