Integrating research and outreach for environmental justice: African American land ownership and forestry
Issues with land ownership and engagement in forestry have been intractable problems that have long impeded wealth development among African Americans in the rural South. Over a 6-year period, an integrated outreach and research program, the Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Program, implemented communitybased projects, built networks among relevant organizations, changed policies, and developed new knowledge to address these critical issues of environmental justice. In this paper, we discuss how anthropological practice was integrated into a program of community-based projects to create a platform for long-term change in land ownership, forest management, outreach practice, and policy environments. The results provide an example of how anthropological methods can contribute to social and institutional change by listening and documenting stories and through long-term engagement with a diverse coalition of researchers, practitioners, landowners, and funders.