Because of growing civil unrest in 2020, I joined a coalition of fellow park enthusiasts. Our group brainstormed ideas about how we could use our combined platforms to help. We’ve previously written about the barriers many BIPOC communities face when it comes to outdoor recreation. Statistics show that Black Americans make up only 7% of national park visitors (some studies show that it’s as low as 1%) while making up 13% of the U.S. population.
Each month, our group spotlights a relevant organization. These organizations are working to bridge the gap between outdoor spaces and underrepresented communities. Past features include:
- August: Black in National Parks Week
- September: Soul Trak
- October: Charles Roundtree
- November: Youth Opportunities Program
- December: Black Kids Adventures
- January: The Memorial Foundation
- February: Syatt
- March: Love Is King
We are broadening our focus going forward to include other under-represented groups. This month is Pride Month and our featured group is The Venture Out Project. Please read below for more details.
About The Venture Out Project►
During the month of June, we will share the work of The Venture Out Project, in our community effort to showcase organizations who are working towards social justice and more inclusive public lands.
Established in 2014 by Perry Cohen, The Venture Out Project was one of the first guiding companies run by and for queer and transgender people.
The mission of The Venture Out Project is to provide a safe and fun space for LGBTQ+ people to experience the outdoors as well as providing education and support that helps schools and organizations affirm their LGBTQ+ members. This is further underscored by their commitment to environmental stewardship, social justice, diversity, and inclusion.
The Venture Out Project envisions a world where queer, trans, and LGBTQ+ youth and adults create community, develop leadership skills, and gain confidence through the shared experience of outdoor adventure and physical activity.TVOP