February 1, 2023
Connecting Culture with Nature: Sacha Medjo-Akono
- as seen by -Julie Larsen
Black History Month is a time to reflect on achievements by African Americans, embrace equality, and inspire future generations.
Wild View talked with Medjo-Akono about their role and how it motivates others.
WV: Tell me about your career at the Wildlife Conservation Society.
SM: I joined WCS in November of 2021 as a conservation educator at the New York Aquarium. It is my first job out of college and has been such a great time. With a passion for teaching and animals, I’ve been living the dream and growing in my knowledge of these subjects. Between summer camps, field trips, and birthday parties, I’ve had the chance to inspire students of all kinds.
WV: This Black History Month, how can we get more African Americans to connect with nature?
It would be engaging to highlight animals in our parks that have symbiotic relationships with African American or African culture. All of the wildlife in our care are ambassadors to members of their species living in the wild. Seeing them up close should encourage us to care for them and learn about them.
For example, at the Bronx Zoo, the red tarantula from Cameroon, which I, too, call home reminds us of the African folktale of Anansi the Spider. His stories of being wise and skillful have been told and retold by generations of Black people and are a key point in the childhood of many across the diaspora.