Aldo & Estella Leopold Writer in Residence Kim Ruffin

05Aug5:30 pm7:00 pmAldo & Estella Leopold Writer in Residence Kim RuffinStanding 'Near to Nature's Heart': Earthling Guideposts from America's Enslaved Ancestors

Portrait of a Black woman from chest up wearing a pink scarf and jacket standing in the woods.

Event Details

Join Aldo and Estella Leopold Writer in Residence, Kim Ruffin, for talk examining the ecological perspectives of enslaved African Americans through their oral and written narratives. Located in the Carson National Forest, “Mi Casita” is an inspiring retreat for distinguished and emerging writers, thinkers, and artists to reflect and write about the relevance of Aldo Leopold’s ideas to 21st century cultural and environmental issues. This year, the Leopold Writing Program celebrates the 10th anniversary of this influential residency.

Kimberly Ruffin is an educator (Associate Professor of English, Roosevelt University), trained nature and forest therapy guide, and Outdoor Afro volunteer leader.  She believes that 21st century Earthlings need the dynamic combination of ecological ethics and experiences that are the legacy of Aldo and Estella Leopold.  She’s drawn to Leopold’s work because of its compelling, artful message; it underscores humans’ maladaptive relationship with the land by drawing attention to enslavement and concepts of property. Dr. Ruffin is a birder, hydroponic gardener, and bicyclist who relishes the nature-focused communities which include her students, event participants, and family and friends.

Dr. Ruffin’s writing and research are supported by the Kalliopeia Foundation.  Her residency project extends her work in Black on Earth: African-American Ecoliterary Traditions (Univ. of Georgia Press) by focusing on the twin topics of ecology and enslavement. She is examining written and oral narratives authored by the enslaved including one authored by her own family’s ancestor. Their perspectives stand at the nexus of social and natural ecology and can bring people closer to one another, non-human nature, and regenerative ecological outlooks.  As with Leopold, America’s enslaved ancestors offer guideposts to anyone who desires both a more intimate relationship with the natural world and input on how to better care for our life support system.



Health Guidelines for this Event

Vaccination Required


(Friday) 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


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