By Mike Kruzman & Jon King /

A local park system has scheduled the second event in their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Speaker Series.

The Huron-Clinton Metroparks is extending an invitation to the event which will be part of a special virtual board meeting on Tuesday, July 20th, at 2:30pm. The special guest will be Dr. Elizabeth Perry, who is an assistant professor of Protected Areas and Natural Resources Recreation Management at Michigan State University.

Dr. Perry is a conservation social scientist who researches and teaches about parks, outdoor recreation, and related tourism. She will touch on topics like how climate change is altering global systems, including parks in our backyards. She will also discuss the challenges this brings with regards to recreation opportunities available, the visitor experience and equity considerations. Following her keynote address, time will be given for Q&A.

The issue of DEI has become a hot-button topic recently with many ultra-conservatives claiming it is a political ideology that divides people on racial grounds. Among them is Livingston County Board Chair Wes Nakagiri, who has led an effort to replace Livingston County’s representative on the Metroparks board for his lack of opposition to DEI initiatives.

Steve Williams, who currently serves as the Treasurer of the Metroparks board, was denied a re-appointment to another term after Nakagiri alleged he was in support of DEI efforts, which Nakagiri has claimed include the concept of Critical Race Theory. Williams has denied that notion, and says the Metroparks DEI program is focused on careful stewardships of the parks and making residents aware of the opportunities available.

For more information on the event and a link to participate, visit