Think back to your childhood. What are the first images to come to mind?
Mine are filled with carefree bike rides, hide and seek with my neighbors and lots of pool time. Summers were our time to explore. Streetlights were our alarm clock. We were always outdoors.
For some reason, we’ve lost some of that freedom. Present day society says that we can’t raise our kids the same way we were raised. We’re hyperaware of threats and danger — both real and imagined. But what does that do to our communities when our children don’t have the ability to enjoy and explore?
One of the reasons I started Color Outside was because I started thinking about what I was modeling for my young daughter. What was the impact of her not seeing her mother enjoying a joy-filled life that included lots of outdoor adventures? What was the impact of her never seeing anyone who looked like her running or hiking or surfing or just plain enjoying the outdoors? I started to think about the type of legacy I was leaving for her — and not just my own daughter, but for all the little brown girls out there.
Getting outside, embracing our innate power and living an unapologetic, adventurous life has ripple effects on our community at large.
By keeping your personal commitment of more adventure and less overwhelm, you’ll also be helping our children unplug from their electronic devices and plug into being a citizen of a living, breathing world. You’ll become that representation that is needed to help make concrete change. And for all of us who had the opportunity to watch Black Panther this past weekend, we all know that representation matters.
You can absolutely cultivate a love of outdoors and nature in your children — whether they’re your own or within the community at large. It may not be identical to how we grew up. But the need to see the adventure around them, to witness the beauty of the Earth and recognize that it is just as much theirs as anyone else is important for our children — especially children of color.