To escape the tough streets of Southeast Washington, D.C. in the late 1980s, young Rodney Stotts would ride the metro to the Smithsonian National Zoo. There, the bald eagles and other birds of prey captured his imagination for the first time. Rodney grew up during the crack epidemic, with guns, drugs, and the threat of incarceration an accepted part of daily life for nearly everyone he knew. To rent his own apartment, he needed a paycheck—something the money from dealing drugs didn’t provide. For that, he took a position in 1992 with a new nonprofit, the Earth Conservation Corps. Gradually, Rodney fell in love with the work to restore and conserve the polluted Anacostia River that flows through D.C. As conditions along the river improved, he helped to reintroduce bald eagles to the region and befriended an injured Eurasian Eagle Owl named Mr. Hoots, the first of many birds whose respect he would work hard to earn.
Join Rodney Stotts, author of Bird Brother, as he shares his unlikely journey to becoming a conservationist and one of America’s few Black master falconers. Rodney creates interactive and educational programming, to share the healing power of nature for anyone in need through his organization, Rodney’s Raptors. Rodney lives on seven acres in Charlotte Court House, Virginia, where he is working to turn the property into a "human sanctuary," a haven for anyone who is interested in learning about falconry, wildlife, and conservation. His memoir, Bird Brother, is available at Politics and Prose.
Host Village: Northwest Neighbors Village
Limited to 100.
Registration is required by May 1, 2023.
Zoom link will be sent to registrants the day before.