In its 2022 Outdoor Participation Trends Report, the Outdoor Industry Association states that people of color make up 28% of outdoor recreation participants with Black Americans making up less than 10%. These numbers are not representative of the entire US population when looking at outdoor participation due to a long and complex history of exclusion. However, when looking at participation trends for people of color in the outdoors and nature we see that participation trends are quickly improving year over year. This is thanks to the efforts of organizations and individuals who are working to change the narrative around who and what the “typical” outdoor enthusiast looks like.
This month Itacate is celebrating Black History Month by applauding the efforts of amazing organizations like OutdoorAfro and Black Girls Run, as well as highlighting Black individuals in the outdoors who are redefining what the aspirational outdoorist looks like.
- Outdoor Afro celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature The network connects Black people with our lands, water, and wildlife through outdoor education, recreation, and conservation. Some examples of Outdoor Afro’s year-round activities range from fishing, hiking, biking, kayaking, gardening, skiing and more!
- Black Girls Run: There's a huge misconception that Black women don't run, the goal of this organization is to encourage and motivate Black women to practice a healthy lifestyle. Serving as a fitness resource for runners and gym rats alike, this organization provides many tips and advice for staying healthy and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Checkout their website at blackgirlsrun.com
Individuals making a difference in the outdoor community:
Jocelyn Rice -
Designer, Mother, Outdoor Futurist and Founder of Black Earth United, Jocelyn has been changing the narrative of who an outdoorist is and what they wear. Through her business she has created pieces that speak to her culture in hopes to inspire Black women to consider a career in design and/or entrepreneurship in the outdoor industry. Follow her journey and find her pieces at Blackearthunited.com
Manny Almonte -
Entrepreneur, Co-founder, President and CEO of Camping to Connect - a collective of men of color who are striving to fully embrace the essence of becoming the best versions of themselves. Manny is an avid outdoors and cycling enthusiast with a passion for community advocacy. Manny has been such a strong force in the industry and has been able to empower black youth to take the outdoors as theirs, we hope to see so much more from Manny in the future!
Sam DeJarnett -
Sam has been such a lovely person to see in the outdoors! Through her Podcast: Always Be Birdin’ she aims to change the narrative of birding. How we bird, where we bird and who is bridging. Join her as she goes out into the field with BIPOC birding experts, novice baby birders and nature enthusiasts through her community outings(if you’re located in Portland) or join her by listening to her podcast.
Chrisha Favors -
Naturalist, Gardener, Educator, Land Steward, Adventurer, these are just a few words to describe all that Chrisha Favors brings to the outdoors. Featured in Sagezine, she is passionate when it comes to outdoor recreation and mushroom foraging and educates others on a hobby that is not as widely known and that can cause serious damage if done incorrectly. Remember! Never eat a mushroom that you may not be knowledgeable about! She is consistently providing content through social media and other platforms, changing the narrative each and every day she is out in the outdoors and we love her for that!
Jalen Bazile -
Athlete, facilitator, and founder Jalen Bazile is a force in cycling, providing outdoor experiences for youth and community members as a trip leader and outdoor instructor. Jalen is also a part of The Black Foxes as a community leader and activist. The Black Foxes is an international collective of eight unapologetically Black cyclists and outdoorists who are reclaiming their narratives and roles in the outdoors, by connecting fellow riders and outdoor enthusiasts, sharing their stories and providing more representation within the cycling and outdoors.
Jalen recently founded TRVL Wide, which is a bikepacking outfitter for inclusive education, leadership, and adventure. Check out their events in Colorado!
Diamon Does -
Adventure Traveler and Environmental Scientist. Through her career as an environmental scientist and trained aquarist, Diamon has dog sled through snowy forests, rescued and released sea turtles, backpacked through remote wilderness and lived in a van while road tripping across the American Southwest! “Diamon Does'' represents her collection of stories at the intersection of adventure and science. Her goal is to create content that inspires more Black and Brown people to explore nature and to shed light on the most pressing issues affecting the health of our planet.
Lestarya : Fridie Outdoors -
Have you been wanting to get start a new hobby in the outdoors? Lestarya is the founder of Fridie Outdoors an app designed to bridge the learning gap for aspiring outdoor/nature hobbyists. Through offline accessible content for all of your outdoor questions, through her app Lestarya is bringing accessibility for people of all background. Download the Fridie Outdoors app through the Apple or Google play store.