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|‘Why do you feel like we need diversity and inclusion in the outdoors industry?’
It’s the million dollar question asked of me in some variation when I’m featured on a podcast, quoted in an article, or basically interviewed for anything.
Usually asked by a ‘well-meaning’ white person who just can’t fathom why a Black woman might feel unsafe and unwelcome while exploring the great outdoors.
And you know what? I’m sick of having to answer it.
It shouldn’t even BE a question.
The question should be ‘What can our society do better to make BIPOC communities, the LBGTQIA community, and Differently-abled people feel welcome outdoors?’
Why does it always fall on the under served folks to help the majority GET IT?
Why is the onus literally ON US.
My quote in a recent Nat Geo sums up the answer perfectly.
“… the way that the outdoor world has been marketed hasn’t been for everybody. It very much seems like this very exclusive club. I’m sure even when people think of ‘outdoorsy,’ they think of a white male and he’s probably wearing Patagonia.”
But my answer isn’t a solution.
I’m committed to changing that narrative along with several of my peers. But it’s going to take more than us just answering this same question on repeat.
It’s going to take the industry recognizing there’s a huge problem when you’ve contributed to isolating marginalized groups from the space that’s rightfully THEIRS.
Outside belongs to all of us.
We need to take up all the space.
And not be questioned when we do.
P.S. I’ve been having a ton of great 1 on 1 conversations with our community about how to find Soul Stirring Adventure, even during the pandemic. JOY lives in us. If you’re feeling out of alignment and could use some clarity on how to get back to YOU, schedule a free chat with me. Book it here.