Dear Hike it Baby Community,
I find myself shaken to the core and vehemently angry about the injustice and loss of life experienced by my fellow humans who are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), and at this moment specifically, Black people. I am ashamed this is not a new issue and it’s one I have had the power to act upon, to a much higher degree, to help change. We live in a world where Black people must live under this oppression every day of their lives. It is a world where they cannot go for a run, sleep in their homes, or experience any aspect of life without the constant threat of violence and lack of tolerance based solely on the color of their skin.
At Hike it Baby, we believe in the power of nature, the importance of creating welcoming and inclusive communities, and that no family should be left behind. Yet over and over again, we bear witness to systemic racism and the resulting loss of Black lives. We can tolerate it no longer. We have a duty to act. We have a duty to do the work necessary to create the idyllic ability to enjoy time in the outdoors freely and safely for every person, not just a privileged few.
This is meaningful work. It is work that takes A LOT of listening and learning. It is not work that just happens because we want it to. It takes action and accountability, a willingness to fail and try again, and bravery to stand tall and demand change. We’re here to show up for it as an organization. Will you join us?
You may have already noticed a shift in our social media posts. Currently, we are focusing on amplifying the voices of the people who need to be heard most right now, the members of our community who are Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). We are also researching and compiling resources to help us learn and we intend to share the resources we find helpful.
We will be centering around some specific action areas and we invite you to join us. Those areas include:
- Resources and tools to support families who want to have this discussion with their children. We believe that it is never too early to start talking about racism and how it impacts BIPOC. Our children are our future and if we want it to be better, we have to teach them what to strive for.
- Amplifying the voices of BIPOC. White people have a place in the conversation as listeners and learners. BIPOC voices need to be center stage right now so that their needs, concerns, and experiences can be clearly expressed and heard.
- Supporting our communities. We were already in the midst of a pandemic with food shortages, severe economic impacts, and other hardships, all of which impacted BIPOC at a disproportionate amount. Now with acts of violence and looting, those communities are facing even more hardships and can use our support even more.
- Taking actions as individuals and as a community. It is not enough to witness these disparities, to name them unfair, to share them on social media. It is well past the time for action. We want to support you and stand alongside you in taking actions to affect meaningful change. We want this to be an ongoing effort, part of HiB’s core efforts.
We believe in the power of community to change our world for the better. Please help us in our efforts to bring an end to systemic racism in our communities so that every child can live a better life and have the freedom to enjoy time in nature. Together, we are raising a generation to love the outdoors and each other.
Jessica Carrillo Alatorre
Executive Director, Hike it Baby