The outdoors has not historically been a safe and welcoming place for all people. As the recent murder of Ahmaud Arbery while jogging and attack on Christian Cooper while bird watching illustrate, this is not a problem of the past but an injustice that persists today. As an organization, the Minnesota Environmental Fund is just beginning the work to find and root out the systems of oppression embedded in our organization and the culture of the environmental movement, and we have a lives-long path ahead of us. In recent weeks, we have been reading, listening, and learning from our BIPOC colleagues in environmental and outdoor spaces, and we wanted to share a few of those messages and resources.
- Follow Diversify Outdoors, a coalition of social media influencers – bloggers, athletes, activists, and entrepreneurs – who share the goal of promoting diversity in outdoor spaces where BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other diverse identities have historically been marginalized and silenced. They are passionate about promoting equity and access to the outdoors for all — that includes being body positive and celebrating different skill levels and abilities.
- Learn to be a better ally – Check out Melanin Base Camp’s Guide to Outdoor Allyship by Danielle Williams, which highlights 10 key areas we need to continually examine if we hope to build a more just and equitable future.
- Be inspired. Read The Adventure Gap by James Edward Mills. In 2013, the first all-African American team of climbers challenged themselves on North America’s highest point, the dangerous and forbidding Denali, in Alaska. Mills uses Expedition Denali and its team members’ adventures as a jumping-off point to explore how minority populations view their place in wild environments and to share the stories of those who have already achieved significant accomplishments in outdoor adventures.