Founding Partner, The Avarna Group
Aparna is a former engineer and lawyer who shifted gears nearly a decade ago to supporting outdoor and environmental organizations with their justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) efforts. Over the years she has facilitated workshops on JEDI topics for thousands of outdoor educators, nonprofit leaders, outdoor industry professionals, land managers, conservation grantors, natural resources and environmental scholars, and conservationists. As a thought leader in the JEDI space, she has helped organizations that work on engagement, connection, caring, and management of “more than human nature” evolve to actively having difficult conversations about topics such as bias, privilege, oppression, equity, justice, and accompliceship. She and her work have been featured in California Lawyer magazine, Backpacker magazine, Outside magazine, Sierra magazine, the Adventure Gap book, and SNEWS (among others) as well as the She Explores and Outdoor Voices podcasts, and she has contributed to the Harvard Business Review, Earth Island Journal, the Journal of Leisure Research, and National Geographic Magazine’s adventure blog. She has also spearheaded projects that amplify stories and connections of black, indigenous, and people of color in nature, including Expedition Denali: Inspiring Diversity in the Outdoors. Most recently, Aparna co-founded and has served as director for the People of the Global Majority in the Outdoors, Nature, and the Environment Summit (pgmone.org).