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July 31, 2019

William Walker VISchool of Sustainability sophomore William Walker VI has big dreams.

"I study sustainability at Arizona State University because I want to be a proponent of our world in the long-run," said Walker. "I ultimately want to transcend the identity and agency I embody into foundation-based work that focuses on reciprocity and community organizing."

Read more to find out about his time in the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program and his plans for the future.

Question: Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

Answer: I am William Walker, I am from Phoenix, Arizona and I study sustainability at Arizona State University because I want to be a proponent of our world in the long-run. Sustainability and conservation efforts have always been integral to my life, identity and how I navigate my spaces.

One obstacle I face within the field is diversity. I navigate this obstacle by learning from diverse stakeholders. I love the idea of storytelling as a pedagogical skill. Pedagogy means a way of teaching and my experiences this summer as a Doris Duke Scholar has highlighted storytelling as a way to sustainably convey cultural ideals. By doing this I see a shift towards sustainable and cultural development.

Q: Can you tell us more about your time at the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars program?

A: I participate in the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Washington. This is a program that focuses on conservation through the lens of people who are underrepresented. We focus on power, privilege, identity and agency, and how it relates to our conservation story. This program has been a life-changing experience and has provided me with scientific knowledge from an approach that is not westernized.

Q: What was your favorite part about the program?

A: My favorite part of the program was meeting with diverse professionals in the field of conservation and hearing how they implement their identity and cultural knowledge in their field of study.

Q: How do you envision applying sustainability to your future career?

A: I envision applying sustainability to my future career by working with diverse and marginalized communities. I ultimately want to transcend the identity and agency I embody into foundation-based work that focuses on reciprocity and community organizing.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to add?

A: Be the change you want to see in the world by telling your story and know you cannot be discredited. There is power in community and solidarity.