Racism in the Outdoors Resources

American Hiking Society believes that the outdoors should be a place of healing and enjoyment for all. Our mission, 'empowering ALL to enjoy, share, and preserve the hiking experience' will never be fulfilled until systemic racism is erased and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are safe and welcome outside, have equitable access to quality natural spaces, and equitable employment and leadership opportunities in the outdoor industry. We resolve, every day, to re-commit to doing what we can as American Hiking to root out racism in the outdoors.

We have a lot of work to do as an organization to further inform ourselves and we are constantly learning about how to be a better, more effective ally. We are educating ourselves and sharing some of the resources that we have found informative and that might help us all become more aware and prepared to be an effective ally in the outdoors. We also encourage you to follow and support organizations led by people of color on social media and are compiling a list of suggestions. Please note this is not an exhaustive list, we welcome additional suggestions, and we plan to continue to update this page. Entries are alphabetized by title.

Reading Material:

Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors - Dr. Carolyn Finney

Dispossessing the Wilderness - Mark Spence

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: 26 Ways (& More) to be an Ally in the Outdoor Industry - Marinel M. de Jesus, Esq.

Engage, Connect, Protect: Empowering Diverse Youth as Environmental Leaders - Angelou Ezeilo, J.D.

Public Lands in the United States: A Curriculum - The Wilderness Society and The Avarna Group

The Melanin Basecamp Guide to Outdoor Allyship - Danielle Williams

The Rise of the American Conservation Movement - Dorceta Taylor

The Unbearable Whiteness of Hiking and How to Solve It - Lornett Vestal and Matthew Nichols

Watch/Listen:

 

Here We Stand - Short Film

Outside Voices - Podcast

This Land - Short Film

The People of Climbing - Short Film

Outdoor Organizations and People to Follow and Support:

Individual Thought Leaders

Amanda Jameson (Wild, Wondrous, Weird, Writing; former AHS NextGen Trail Leader)

Bam Mendiola (Anti Racism Facilitator; former AHS NextGen Trail Leader)

Blackpackers (Outdoors/investigative freelance journalist stationed in the Rocky Mountains.)

Brittany Leavitt (Backpacker.Climber.Photographer.Educator)

Brooklyn Bell (artist, athlete)

Chelsea Murphy (Diversity in the outdoors, Motherhood + Mountain life, Hiking + Runnin, JESUS, Speaker, Writer)

Faith E. Briggs (roots natty wa/onderings, running, documentary + representation)

Family Trail Time (TX chica +PA guy +CA kids, sharing outdoor adventures to empower others to explore California trails & beyond!)

Gina Knox (Outdoor, Travel, Nature, AT 2021 - Seeking Triple Crown, Virgina-based)

Grace Anderson (Co-Director of @pgmonesummit, Look for me in the wilds.)

Janelle Paciencia (Latinx/K'iche' storyteller living on Ute, Arapahoe, Cheyenne, & Lakota territory; photographer; current AHS NextGen Trail Leader)

Jitterbug Art (Illustrator / Wanderer / Nature Lover)

Jose Gonzalez  (#GreenChicano, #SciComm, #PoetWarrior, MeXicano Founder, Emeritus @latinooutdoors)

Karen Ramos (Oaxaqueña,Indígena,ÑuuSavi/Socuiya; Outdoors, Hood-Sustainability, Justice; former AHS NextGen Trail Leader)

Kellee Edwards (Adventure Travel Journalist/TV Host)

L. Renee Blount (Adventure + Storytelling, Adventure Photog, Outdoor Athlete, Strategist)

Latria Graham (Storyteller w/a propensity for tea +troubling boundaries)

Leah Thomas (️Intersectional Environmentalism, activist + eco-communicator)

Len Necefer (Professor of things, CEO: @NativesOutdoors, Generalized alpine suffering)

Liz “Snorkel” Thomas (Former Appalachian Trail speed record, N'tl Outdoor Book Award, Queen of Urban Hiking, Editor @treelinereview, former AHS NextGen Trail Leader)

Mélise Marie (she/her, phd student↠neuroscience, rock climber, founder - @musementorship)

Miesha Dennis (Changing the Narrative Through Adventure; Founder, She Said What She Said)

Mirna Valerio (multi-brand ambassador, speaker, author)

Ron Griswell (outdoor adventure travel + environmental enthusiasts, practicing mindfulness; former AHS NextGen Trail Leader)

Teresa Baker (Working to increase diversity and inclusion in the outdoor industry)

The Blackalachian (AT‘17, UGRR ‘18, TGOC ‘19, Camino Norte‘19, ‘20 Hiker Of The [email protected])

The Bucketlist Traveler (Weekend Warrior • Story Teller • Outdoor Enthusiast • Environmentalist)

Wild Gina (Nature is showin’ out. I’m capturing it. Photog, Director, Writer, Producer)

Will ‘Akuna’ Robinson (PCT 2016, PCT 2017, AT 2018, CDT 2019, Army Vet)

 

Affinity Groups

Black People Who Hike (Blackpeoplewhohike was created to inspire people of color to step outside of their comfort zones and get active outside.)

Black Too Earth (Connecting black people to black environmental organizations)

Brown Girls Hike (Centering Black/Brown women on the trails and in nature!)

Brown People Camping (Proud IndianMuslimAmericanWoman diversifying public lands & outdoors 1 story at a time!)

Color the Trails (Group for POC & allies interested in outdoor activities, including hiking, skiing/snowboarding, kayaking, camping.)

Indigenous Women Hike (Healing through our inherent connection to the land.)

LatinX Hikers (Outdoor explorers, Storytellers, Diversity, Inclusion)

Outdoor Asian (Building a community of Asians & Pacific Islanders in the outdoors.)

REMiXEcology (to provide under-represented individuals the opportunity to cultivate relationships with themselves, each other and nature in order to holistically improve their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.)

She Said What She Said (Weekly discussions with women from everywhere chatting about everything from unicorns to racism, cotton candy to DEI in the outdoors and beyond)

The Black Outdoors (Igniting your passion for recreation and adventure!)

The Great Outchea (Black, Brown, Indigenous & more exploring the great outdoors.)

We Color Outside (Helping women of color create unapologetic, JOY-filled lives through outdoor adventure.)

 

Non-Profits and Small Businesses

Centered on Black People

Outdoor Afro (Outdoor Afro has become the nation’s leading, cutting edge network that celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature.)

Black Girls Run (Black Girls RUN! wants to encourage African-American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 80% of African-American women are overweight. BGR! wants to create a movement to lower that percentage and subsequently, lower the number of women with chronic diseases associated with an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle.)

Black Girls Surf (Black Girls Surf supports girls/women whose career goals are competing in the professional surfing. Through, the fundraising efforts we have been able to send athletes to compete and train with professionals to ensure that they are prepared. Under BGS, participants will have an opportunity to train with world-class surfing professionals.)

Vibe Tribe Adventures (​Vibe Tribe Adventures (VTA) (formally known as Black Girls Hike) is a  global adventure company that was created to encourage Black women to explore the great outdoors, practice conservation of our planet, educate on health and wellness and to inspire one another to be authentically who we are naturally.)

 

Centered on LatinX and AfroLatinX People

Latino Outdoors (We inspire, connect, and engage Latino communities in the outdoors and embrace cultura y familia as part of the outdoor narrative, ensuring our history, heritage, and leadership are valued and represented.)

 

Centered on Native American/Indigenous People

Natives Outdoors (We are in business to empower indigenous communities through our products and storytelling for a sustainable world.)

Native Womens Wilderness (To inspire and raise the voices of Native Women in the Outdoor Realm. To encourage a healthy lifestyle grounded in the Wilderness. To educate Natives and non-Natives on the rich beauty and heritage of the Ancestral Lands beneath our feet.)

 

Centered on Women and Gender Nonbinary

Brown Girls Climb (Small Women of Color owned and operated company with the mission to promote and increase visibility of diversity in climbing by establishing a community of climbers of color, encouraging leadership opportunities for self-identified women climbers of color, and by creating inclusive opportunities to climb and explore for underrepresented communities.)

Outdoor Journal Tour (The Outdoor Journal Tour, lovingly dubbed ODJT, is a community built for women to facilitate personal growth and alignment. We use a beautiful combination of physical activity, guided journaling and meditation to help women create this balance.)

Black Girls Trekkin (Black Girls Trekkin’ is a group, created by co-founders Tiffany and Michelle, for women of color who choose to opt outside. Through our passion, we’re inspiring and empowering black women to spend time outdoors, appreciate nature, and protect it. We hope to build a community that will show the world that women of color are a strong and present force in the outdoors. Join us on one of our Los Angeles group events as we hike, climb, run and embrace the challenges that the outdoors has to offer us.)

 

Centered on Youth

Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps (Development and leadership program committed to building a stronger and more inclusive community. We provide opportunities for youth and young adults to experience and better understand wilderness and natural resources by providing a transformational and immersive experience.)

Girl Trek (Pioneer a health movement for African-American women and girls grounded in civil rights history and principles through walking campaigns, community leadership, and health advocacy.)

Get Out Stay Out/Vamos Afuera (Grassroots, Central Coast nonprofit, that invites Indigenous Migrant youth to run, play, and discover themselves in the natural environment.)

Greening Youth Foundation (To engage under-represented youth and young adults, while connecting them to the outdoors and careers in conservation. GYF’s cultural based environmental education programing engages children from local communities and exposes them to healthy lifestyle choices in order to create an overall healthy community.)

 

Centered on Diversity and Inclusion in General

Camber Outdoors (National nonprofit supporting workplace inclusion, equity, and diversity in the active-outdoor industries.)

Center for Diversity & the Environment (Harnesses the power of racial and ethnic diversity to transform the US environmental movement by developing leaders, catalyzing change within institutions, and building alliances.)

Color the Crag (The Color the Crag Climbing Festival is an event to celebrate diversity in climbing)

In Solidarity Project (Bringing the outdoor industry together to build a more inclusive future.)

Melanin Base Camp (Join us as we work together to increase representation and opportunities for people of color in outdoor adventure sports. Along the way we won’t shy away from sensitive topics (race and gender) but we’ll do so in a way that creates a safe space for people with marginalized identities.  Join the movement and help us #diversifyoutdoors!)

PGM One Summit (PGM ONE attempts to model [their] vision by creating an intentional space for black, indigenous, and people of color/the global majority who participate in US-based movements for environmental education, access, and justice; land sovereignty; conservation; climate justice; food justice; and others . The space supports participants to share, learn, collaborate, heal, celebrate, build community, find support, and practice uprooting the systems of oppression that operate upon us, between us, and within us. The community that results helps us understand and mobilize our collective power to transform ourselves, our movements, and society.)

Unlikely Hikers (Diverse, anti-racist, body-liberating outdoor community featuring the underrepresented outdoorsperson. We’re an Instagram community, a nationwide hiking group and a podcast!)

Wild Diversity (To welcome and create a sense of belonging in the outdoors for the BIPOC & LGBTQ+ communities.)

We welcome additional suggestions, and we plan to continue to update this page.

Please email additional suggestions to: [email protected]