L. Renee Blount from @urbanclimbr
We believe the wild is for everyone. From climbing towering rock walls, to biking the dirty forest trails, to hiking one daunting peak after another - the outdoors does not discriminate against a single soul. Every color, every gender, every disability is welcomed by the soft earth beneath and the trees towering above.
Nothing brings people together quite like shared passion; we share similar aspirations and desires for the goals we strive to achieve. Above all, we want to amplify the voices, share the stories, and grow as allies of minority communities of all types.
Systemic racism has grown its roots in an environment that should never have been polluted in the first place, the outdoors. It troubles us deeply to read the honest words of Joshua Walker in his incredibly insightful article Lions and Tiger and Black Folk, Oh My! Why Black People Should Take Up Space In the Outdoors:
"Growing up, because I was young and impressionable, I also aligned myself to the belief that there were things in life that were inherently just for white people. And while I personally always wanted to try some of the outdoor activities I considered off-limits, I did not feel like I would fit in for two reasons: I was black and most of the kids that did those things also didn't make it a habit of hanging out with black kids."
Who are we to make a community, a culture, an entire group of people believe that the nature of the planet on which they were born on is not for them to enjoy and explore?
February is Black History Month and what better way to celebrate the black community and people of color than by sharing thought provoking and inspiring articles of people taking up space outdoors and doing what they love!
Self-Care in the Mountains: Magic in the Rwenzoris by Tyrhee Moore
Bad Thing Happen in the Woods: The Anxiety of Hiking While Black by Candice Pires of The Guardian
Black Faces, White Spaces by Carolyn Finney
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: 26 Ways (and More) to be an Ally in the Outdoor Industry by Marinel M. de Jesus of Brown Gal Trekker
The Melanin Base Camp Guide to Outdoor Allyship by Danielle Williams
This Land Documentary by Faith E. Briggs
The People of Climbing by Josh Greenwood
An American Ascent by George Potter & Andy Atkins
#EveryoneOutside Short Films by The Outbound Collective
Brittany Leavitt - Backpacking and Climbing (@bleavitt8)
Gina Danza - Outdoor Explorer & Photographer (@wildginaa)
Tyrhee Moore - Mountaineer and Outdoor Advocate (@tyrhee.moore)
Candyss Love - Solo Van Life (@candyss.love)
Chris - Hiking and Travel (@mountain_mic)
Renee - Climbing and Adventure (@urbanclimbr)
The resources listed above only scrape the surface. We have a lot of continuing education to do to become better allies towards the BIPOC communities we strive to embrace outdoors.
It is everyone's responsibility to cultivate an outdoor environment that can be enjoyed by all walks of life!
The steps to becoming more environmentally conscious and sustainable require a certain mindfulness and recognition that can take time to adapt to and develop! Each small change makes a difference and here 7 you can start practicing now.