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Narratives Worth Exploring

Adventure Activism, Black Lives Matter, Diversity, Environmental Protection, Ice Age Trail, Madison, National Forests, Podcast, Public Land, ReThinkOutside, Wisconsin / 13.01.2021

The Black Men Northwoods Retreat Hey everybody. Happy New Year! I know things seem to be getting off to a rocky start. How’s that for an understatement. But I sincerely believe that by working together we can get past our differences and move forward toward a brighter future. We just need to come up with creative solutions to our many extremely complicated problems. For example, in the spring of 2020 I was asked by the National Forest Foundation to create a storytelling project.  They asked me to create a series...

Books, Diversity, Environmental Journalism, Environmental Justice / 08.01.2021

As we enter into the new year, we welcome the opportunity for personal growth and development. Certainly, there is no better path toward self-improvement than through the pages of a good book. In the hopes of leading a national dialog in particular on the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion in outdoor recreation, environmental conservation and social justice we are proud to announce the creation of an online book club called The Joy Trip Reading Project. It goes without saying that 2020 was a tumultuous year. The global Covid-19...

Appalachian Trail, Climbing, Color The Crag, Covid-19, Diversity, Film preview, Uncategorized / 17.11.2020

Taking a break from his daily training session Aden Conrad stopped to chat with his friend Malik Martin. A talented athlete, this aspiring sport climber needed just a few minutes to rest and allow the lactic acid to ease its way out of his powerful forearms. As they casually spoke, Malik took a quick succession of pictures of Aden with his Nikon camera. Just a few clicks of his shutter and the photojournalist captured a moment in the life of a young man transformed by the power of...

Capitol Christmas Tree, Choose Outdoors, Environmental Journalism, Joy To America, National Forests, Public Land, U.S. Forest Service / 06.11.2020

On November 5, 2020 members of the United States Forest Service successfully harvested the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre Gunnison National Forests of Colorado. Despite the tumult of the global COVID-19 Pandemic and a contentious presidential election these dedicated men and women in partnership with corporate sponsors, small private businesses, local government agencies and nonprofit organizations coordinated the complicated task of extracting an 55-foot tall 82- year-old Engleman Spruce Tree for safe transport by truck to Washington D.C. Taken from the GMUG, the ancestral...

#BlackLivesMatter, Black Lives Matter, Film preview, Film Review, mountainfilm, ReThinkOutside / 19.10.2020

This month the talented young artist Jonathan Malik Martin celebrates his directorial debut in the new video for the latest expression of singer/songwriter Milck titled Somebody’s Beloved. Set in his home town of Memphis, Tennessee, Malik brings all of his storytelling skills to bear in this subtly powerful narrative that depicts the personal devastation brought on by the shattering impact of gun violence in the Black community. The remarkable vision of the photojournalist known as Malik Tha Martian, first came to my attention through Instagram. Like many avid users...

Diversity, Essays, Guest Contributor, National Forests, Outdoors For All, Private Land, Public Land, ReThinkOutside / 09.10.2020

I am African-American.  Feels important that I say that up front.  Born in New York city and raised by black parents on land belonging to a wealthy, Jewish family, I was “homeschooled” emotionally and spiritually on a diet of black power, black striving and black possibility.  I often joke with people that I lived with Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali whose presence my father invoked on a regular basis.  My parents, Henry and Rose, grew up in Floyd, Virginia – poor and black with a high school education. ...