Diverse NPS: Outdoor Afro

Photo credit: @outdoorafro

Diverse NPS►

I am part of a coalition of fellow park enthusiasts dedicated to promoting diversity and equity in our public lands. We’ve been collaborating on posts since mid 2020.

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:

As we open Black History Month, we’re sharing another installment in our community effort to showcase organizations promoting social justice and more inclusive access to public lands.  This month’s feature organization is Oakland, California-based, Outdoor Afro.

About Outdoor Afro

Outdoor Afro is where Black people and nature meet. Founded by Rue Mapp in 2009, Outdoor Afro is the nation’s leading organization that celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature. Their mission: to celebrate and inspire Black connections and leadership in nature.

Outdoor Afro has more than 100 leaders in 56 cities and connects 40,000+ people to nature annually. Each volunteer leader creates and guides monthly trips and fosters collaborations to strengthen connections with the outdoors. Their organization reconnects Black people with nature through recreational activities including hiking, birding, fishing, kayaking, gardening, and more – in a similar style, you would do if you were taking family members out. They work to harness the value of connecting people and connecting people to nature, in the same conversation. Outdoor Afro also works to disrupt the false perception that Black People do not have a relationship with nature.

Each year they hold annual training for all volunteer leaders to attend. All leaders are required to attend. There are training modules and ongoing education covering everything from risk management to policy to storytelling interpretation. Outdoor Afro shifts the visual representation of who can connect with the Outdoors by taking photos and sharing them with a growing online community. They encourage participants to do the same.
Anyone who supports their mission is welcome to attend their events. You don’t have to have an afro, to be part of Outdoor Afro.

Support and Donate►

Photo credit: @outdoorafro

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