“You never know how or when you’ll have an impact, or how important your example can be to someone else.” – Denzel Washington
As Black History Month comes to a close, it is important to remember to continue to recognize all the amazing and powerful Black individuals and organizations that are continuously working to better their communities and the world.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is full of really amazing and empowering Black organizations doing wonderful work in the great outdoors! Here are 7 Black outdoor organizations making a difference that everyone should know!
Black Girls Trekkin’
This LA based organization was created to increase representation of black women in nature (but is open to anyone from any underrepresented group). They also are working to build a community of people who get outside and strive to preserve and protect our planet.
Black Kids Adventure
Zenovia and George Stephens founded this Alabama based non-profit to help introduce and expose Black and Brown families to outdoor adventures. They know the key to changing the outdoor narrative is to expose children to outdoor activities as early as possible. One aspect of their organization is a twice annual family sleep away camp. This camps aims to help bridge the gap that exists in the outdoors and provide a foundation for a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable outdoor future.
Black Outside Inc.
After noticing that only 1% of Texas State Park goers were Black, Black Outside Inc. was founded to reconnect Black youth to the great outdoors. The volunteer developed and run programs include an overnight camp for girls, a communal space of healing for youth impacted by incarceration, and a pilot high school program focused on building social-emotional skills. Each of these programs center on exploration of self, culture, and the outdoors.
Melanin Base Camp
Founded in 2016 by Danielle Williams, Melanin Base Camp aims to increase ethnic minority and LGBTQ+ participation in outdoor recreation. They are also striving to expand visibility and representation in the media of outdoorsy black, indigenous, and people of color.
The organization’s goal is to connect Black individuals to outdoor adventures, while also promoting Black leadership in nature. This national not for profit organization is operating in 42 cities and has over 80 leaders across the United States.
With a goal of connecting people of color to the great outdoors while also building a group of diverse leaders, this D.C. nonprofit provides several hands-on and experiential programs. Their vision is “to act as a bridge to wild spaces by uplifting outdoor leaders of diverse backgrounds and create an outdoors that more accurately reflects the diversity of our nation.”
When Tramond Baisden and Ezedube Eze noticed a lack of representation and participation of black people and other underrepresented groups in outdoor recreation, they decided to do something about it. They founded this organization to “highlight folks who look like you doing dope, new things.”
Black History Month may only be one 28 day month, but Black history is not separate from American history. In fact, it is deeply interconnected to it. So even though the month is coming to a close, it is important to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Black individuals all year.
Whether you are looking for inspiration or a wonderful organization to donate to, these 7 Black outdoor organizations are an amazing place to start.
If you are looking for other Black or BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Hike it Baby content, we’ve got you covered.
- 9 Diverse Children’s Nature Books to Add to Your Collection
- How One Mom is Breaking Racial Barriers to Find Her Place on Trail
- Addressing Racial Disparity and Taking Action for Change at Hike it Baby
- Hike it Baby’s Mission to Change what it Means to be Outdoorsy
“We all have dreams. In order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” – Jesse Owens
ABOUT HIKE IT BABY
Hike it Baby is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to getting families outdoors and on trails across the U.S. and internationally, supporting, educating and inspiring families through their more than 300 communities across North America. Since its grassroots inception in 2013 in Portland, Oregon, Hike it Baby is now a growing community of 270,000 families and 500 volunteer branch ambassadors hosting more than 1,600 hikes per month. More information, as well as daily hike schedules, can be found at HikeitBaby.com, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.