Decolonizing Environmental Thought – with Fred Tutman

Monday, November 15 at 6pm ET

Fred Tutman joined our Life Saves the Planet lecture series on Monday, November 15 to discuss environmental movements and the importance of decolonizing our attitudes, actions, and leadership. Check out related resources and the talk recording on our GBH page.

As the planet faces existential threats from multiple sources, the people raising movements aimed at greening the planet must first learn how to discard ideals and notions about the environment founded upon capitalism, racism and classism. This will be a frank talk with case studies about how to build truly equitable, compelling and inclusive conservation movements by first unpacking and ground-truthing the inherent values behind the slogans, fundraising appeals and strategic aims of “insider” Green movements.

Fred Tutman is a grassroots community advocate for clean water in Maryland’s longest and deepest intrastate waterway. He holds the title of Patuxent Riverkeeper, sharing that name with the organization that he founded in 2004. He also lives and works on an active farm located near the Patuxent that has been his family’s ancestral home for nearly a century. 

Prior to Riverkeeping, Fred spent nearly 25 years working as a media producer and consultant on telecommunications assignments all over the globe, including a long stint working with and advising traditional healers in West Africa and coverage of the Falkands conflict in Argentina on assignment for the BBC. After a late life sojourn into law school, in addition to his duties as a Waterkeeper, Fred also teaches and advises in the Graduate Studies program of Goddard College in Plainfield Vermont and has also taught classes in Environmental Law and Policy at various Colleges, Universities and Law Schools.

In his spare time, he does trail maintenance on the Appalachian Trail when not exploring the Patuxent River by kayak. Fred is the recipient of numerous regional and state awards for his various environmental works on behalf of communities. He is among the longest serving Waterkeepers in the Chesapeake region and the sole African-American Waterkeeper in the nation.