27 Feb Here We Stand
Imagine what our world would look like today if from the outset our public lands were made open and accessible to everyone. The history of our national parks and recreation areas is riddled with tragic narratives of exclusion that have deprived marginalized communities of not only the chance to spend time in the outdoors but to become part of the movement to protect and preserve the natural world. A new short film from the Outbound Collective aims to turn that notion on its head by welcoming in an emerging cadre of advocates to become part of creating a new forest reserve dedicated to the continued longevity of the oldest redwood trees on the planet.Inspired by the work of environmental activist Teresa Baker, the advo-pic Here We Stand projects an image of inclusion that defies and corrects the common misconception that people of color are absent from spaces outside.
“All too often, people forget that communities of color have always been in the outdoors,” Baker says in the film. “But for generations some of us have been removed. These are people that work on these issues day in and day out, but you don’t see us. We’re in the background. We’re not out in front, and that’s the problem.”
Here We Stand is a celebration of community engagement that acknowledges the importance of creating access to our parks and natural spaces that reflects the diversity of people who are bound to become environmental stewards. As conservation groups further their efforts to defend an ever-shrinking pristine landscape they are beginning to understand that they must appeal to those members of our society who have been broadly ignored for decades.
“The service that our parks are providing the redwoods and beyond are fundamental to a healthy society and livable communities, said Sam Hodder, CEO of Save The Redwoods League. “Reimagining how we welcome a diverse public is fundamental to that.”Through the eyes several leading outdoor advocates, including the writer Rahawa Haile and Outward Bound course director Kenja Griffin, the film shows its viewers the natural resources they aim to protect. And with each face and voice it reveals a cast of characters who are stepping up to do their part in defence of the land they love.
“I think that’s a big shift we need to make as a whole community,” said environmental educator Miho Aida. “How can we protect this place with people?”
In this reimagining of the world outside the answer seems quite simple. The people who inhabit this land must represent the diversity of the community at large. And to each place must come those who like the trees themselves make their stand. #EveryoneOutside
#RethinkOutside with us to create a future where everyone has positive experiences outdoors and shares the joy, health, growth, and sense of community that come with it. Join us in amplifying a shared narrative to engage new partners and allies.