Social Justice in the Outdoors

The fact that I have so many outdoor adventures and explorations to post about each week is proof positive of my privilege. Minorities are not well-represented in the outdoor industry or the outdoors themselves, largely because the outdoors are not accessible to these individuals. Think about it; what was the racial composition of people you saw on your last outdoor outing? I’m guessing it didn’t accurately represent the racial composition of where you live.

Given present circumstances, I’ve decided not to publish my scheduled post this week. I said at the beginning of the COVID pandemic that I was going to keep posting as usual to provide a sense of normalcy and an escape. But nothing about this week in the US has been normal, and this is not the time for an escape. This is the time to stand up and fight. This is not the time for me to talk about myself or celebrate the fact that I’ve been able to live a life so enriched by the outdoors. This is the time to focus on the reality that so many people are never afforded that opportunity.

So I’ve decided to take the week off from adventure blogging and spend the time educating myself, listening to minority voices, reading their stories, and learning what I can do to help. There are plenty of social justice challenges we’re currently facing, and access to the outdoors may seem a minor concern given present circumstances, but it is in fact one of the issues. If minorities don’t have access to and cannot reap the benefits of the outdoors, social justice has not been achieved.

Rather than spending any more time on WordPress this week, I’ve bookmarked a large list of resources and I’m going to use this time instead to read and watch them. There are numerous petitions, donations, and letter-writing opportunities I plan to take part in. There is so much to learn. There are so many minority voices to listen to. So for the next few days, that’s how I’ll be spending my free time.

I hope some of you will choose to do the same, and please feel free to share any helpful and relevant resources in the comments.


7 thoughts on “Social Justice in the Outdoors”

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic, it’s so important. I was just musing about it on my own blog this week. People of color are so underrepresented in outdoors spaces and activities, and I’m glad more people are noticing!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is true. I will tell you thst Nate my ftiend in NC who was going to go on the AT with us is a minority person. I did notice as we hiked in and around NC we often got some strange looks and sometimes I felt I would have to and was ready to tell some folks off. He actually came to Texas last year to hike and I was told by family who have dpent some time here areas that it would probably be better that we didn’t go into it’s sad and I sit here tonight learning that in Louisville Ky police officers have killed two black men this evening and racial tensions are again riding in that city.

    Liked by 1 person

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