© 2023 Fantastic Fungi, LLC
Martin Luther King Jr. was a world-changing leader who paved the way for other civil rights fighters to follow. He opened the door for other visible minorities to use their voice and battle prejudiced societal structures. We now turn to people of color influencing mycology.
In mycology, it’s important to recognize the voices of experts of color. Many surpassed the social limitations that are still prevalent for people of color today. These two valuable members are surpassing the standards of mycology and environmentalism, which will hopefully inspire more people of color to feel free to share their voice and make changes in these fields.
These are some valuable visible minority figures who are emerging in the mycology movement:
An environmentalist, Ms. Toles O’Laughlin is directing her fighting efforts towards the fossil fuel industry. She has been recently named 350.org’s new North American Director. In her new role, she has worked to call out systemic racism and exclusivity by the government. Furthermore, she is striving to evoke their action so the fight against climate change can gain more traction, therefore saving the world’s ecosystems.
He taught himself how to practice mycology, and now, William Padilla-Brown wants to make fungi accessible to the communities around him. This is especially for those of color who do not have the privilege to afford to learn about mycology or luxury fungi products from home growers. At 25 years old, he has already published a book on mycology. He also organizes an annual festival to educate his community to help them start their own sustainable mushroom growth and enjoyment.
While it’s inspiring to have these role models for people of color in the permaculture, mycology, and environmental realms, it’s evident that there is still work to be done. Information around these fields needs to become more accessible to less-privileged minority communities so that more diverse voices will rise with new outlooks and innovative ideas. Follow us and in 2021 and celebrate people of color influencing mycology!