2022 Blog Aif Speaker Guest Blogs 5


Meet the First Indigenous Director of the National Park Service

Plus — Re-entering the workforce after incarceration

  • November 10th 2022

This Land is Your Land

“You can’t keep human beings from the natural landscape. They’re part of nature,” says Chuck Sams, the first Indigenous director of the US National Park Service. He talks with Kristine Tompkins, a conservationist who has helped protect 15 million acres of land and 30 million marine acres in South America, in a discussion moderated by NBC correspondent Gadi Schwartz. They reflect on how we can bring balance back to humanity’s relationship with nature and what land management agencies can learn from Indigenous stewardship practices. 


Building Careers After Incarceration

“It was highly unlikely for me to ever sit on a stage at the Aspen Ideas Festival when I also sat in front of a judge when I was 15 years old to get sentenced to 8 years in adult maximum security prison,” says Marcus Bullock, a justice reform advocate and entrepreneur. He stresses that his incredible story isn’t unique — “There’s a ton of brilliance hiding in those cells.” What we lack is the social capital and opportunity to erase the stigma that comes with a criminal record, he says. Bullock speaks with Stewart Butterfield, the CEO of Slack, and Alyssa Lovegrove, the academic director of the Georgetown Pivot Program. Andrew Ross Sorkin, co-anchor of CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” moderates as they discuss how private and public partnerships can help formerly incarcerated individuals re-enter the workforce.


Can the United States Be United?

Political parties need to “appeal to voters based on ideas, real policy positions, rather than these wedge issues that often tend to prey on people’s prejudices,” says Barbara Walter, political science professor at UC San Diego and author of How Civil Wars Start and How to Stop Them. There’s always been disagreements between red and blue, but lately Americans seem to be more divided than ever about the fundamental direction of our nation. Walter speaks with Yascha Mounk, professor of the Practice of International Affairs at Johns Hopkins University, and Jane Coaston, host of “The Argument” podcast, about where this deep division comes from, the possibility of civil war, and how to restore our democracy to health. 


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