Christopher Kilgour, community outreach manager with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, was recently awarded the 2023 Eco-Justice Award from the Wisconsin Association of Environmental Education (WAEE).
The relatively new award was created from a desire to expand the traditional lens of environmental education to more intentionally highlight the work of environmental equity leaders and organizations who would not traditionally label themselves as environmental educators. Recipients are recognized for leadership in developing and implementing programs that are inclusive, culturally relevant, working towards equitable internal practices, and representing the diverse communities in Wisconsin.
Kilgour was honored for his efforts with Color in the Outdoors, an outdoor adventure group that he founded two decades ago that seeks to reduce barriers to outdoor activities among diverse communities.
“I am honored to be recognized for the role I play in further access, inclusion, and equity in outdoor spaces and careers related to the environment,” says Kilgour. “I am humbled to join the prior recipients and believe opportunities abound to foster new ways to embrace education across diverse communities.”
In the coming year, Kilgour will be leading a statewide assessment for WAEE to identify individuals and organizations in disadvantaged communities or historically marginalized populations. He will conduct conversations and listening sessions to identify barriers, gaps, and needs related to expanding equitable access to environmental education.
In his role with the Nelson Institute, Kilgour has increased the outreach capacity by supporting efforts to better address diverse access to our programs and services by building deeper relationships with post-secondary institutions, campus partners, and community organizations. WAEE formally recognized the 2023 award recipients during a virtual event in November.