Outdoor diversity conference opens in Atlanta

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Outdoor diversity advocates Franks and Audrey Peterman welcomed a unique gathering of their peers to the city of Atlanta. A few hundred individuals from across the country, mostly African-Americans met to express their love and appreciation for nature  in the opening session of the Breaking the Color Barrier to the Great Outdoors conference.

In her remarks Audrey Peterman shared a common observation with those assembled . “Frank and I would visit these wonderful National Parks and we would see so few people of color,” she said.”We wanted to do something about it. But rather than complaining about the dark sometimes you have to light a candle. And all of you are that light.”

The Conference promises to address a number of the issues and circumstances that prevent more minorities from taking advantage of the wild and natural settings available to them.  A complete schedule of speakers and programs continues through September 26th. Please continue to check into this blog for further updates and details.

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Author:James

I'm a freelance journalist that specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living.

8 Responses to “Outdoor diversity conference opens in Atlanta”

  1. September 24, 2009 at 7:31 am #

    Can't wait to read more!

  2. September 24, 2009 at 7:31 am #

    Can't wait to read more!

  3. September 24, 2009 at 2:18 pm #

    Hey, I encourage you to list your blog on the Nature Blog Network, if you’re not listed already http://natureblognetwork.com/
    It’s a list of nature, outdoor, environmental ed, bird watching, wildlife,hiking and rec -all things outdoors! There are a few blogs listed written by persons of color, but so far I’ve only counted a few.

  4. September 24, 2009 at 9:18 am #

    Hey, I encourage you to list your blog on the Nature Blog Network, if you’re not listed already http://natureblognetwork.com/
    It’s a list of nature, outdoor, environmental ed, bird watching, wildlife,hiking and rec -all things outdoors! There are a few blogs listed written by persons of color, but so far I’ve only counted a few.

  5. September 24, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    Thanks for sharing! I am heading to the Outdoor Industry Association Rendezvous next week…seems like there is an excellent opportunity for crossover (or a speaker opportunity). I will check back for more info – and take it with me next week.

    • September 24, 2009 at 10:12 pm #

      Thanks for your comment Lori. I hope to provide more information as the conference unfolds. I had to stop myself from making a terse response to your desire to share information on diversity at the Outdoor Industry Association Rendezvous. The last thing I want to do is alienate my friends and colleagues, but to be frank the OIA and its member companies have done little more than pay lip service to issue of diversity. With the exception of REI who is a sponsor of this event in Atlanta, few companies seem prepared to take proactive steps toward getting more people of color outdoors. Until they begin marking products directly to minority communities or sponsor non-white athletes to endorse their products I feel that any efforts to quietly support urban outreach initiatives will fall short of achieving lasting change. I feel like I just committed professional suicide by even suggesting such a thing. But there it is. Let the debate begin.

  6. December 21, 2009 at 10:15 pm #

    Thanks for sharing! I am heading to the Outdoor Industry Association Rendezvous next week…seems like there is an excellent opportunity for crossover (or a speaker opportunity). I will check back for more info – and take it with me next week.

    • September 24, 2009 at 10:12 pm #

      Thanks for your comment Lori. I hope to provide more information as the conference unfolds. I had to stop myself from making a terse response to your desire to share information on diversity at the Outdoor Industry Association Rendezvous. The last thing I want to do is alienate my friends and colleagues, but to be frank the OIA and its member companies have done little more than pay lip service to issue of diversity. With the exception of REI who is a sponsor of this event in Atlanta, few companies seem prepared to take proactive steps toward getting more people of color outdoors. Until they begin marking products directly to minority communities or sponsor non-white athletes to endorse their products I feel that any efforts to quietly support urban outreach initiatives will fall short of achieving lasting change. I feel like I just committed professional suicide by even suggesting such a thing. But there it is. Let the debate begin.

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