Black Lives Matter

#BlackLivesMatter, Black In National Parks Week, Black Lives Matter, Diversity, National Geographic, National Parks, Podcast, Public Land, Unhidden / 09.03.2022

A few weeks before his 80th birthday, I had the rare pleasure to speak by phone to the 15th director of the National Park Service Robert Stanton. From his home in Maryland, Mr. Stanton shared with me a personal history of his career as a leading figure in the preservation of public land as well as the enduring legacy of our heritage as a nation. Born in 1940, as Black American Stanton was subjected to the racially focused prohibitions of the Jim Crow era that denied him access...

#BlackLivesMatter, Black Lives Matter, Diversity, National Parks, Podcast, Public Land, Unhidden / 18.02.2022

Long before the National Park Service was established, the geological site commonly known as Mammoth Cave in the state of Kentucky was a popular tourist attraction. Open to the public for guided tours beginning in 1830’s this massive labyrinth of underground caverns and tunnels was first explored by enslaved people whose legacy of stewardship spans more than 5 generations. A Black man named Stephen Bishop lead much of the earliest explorations of the cave system and named many of the most prominent features. An expert on the largest...

#BlackLivesMatter, Black In National Parks Week, Black Lives Matter, Capitol Christmas Tree, Deserts, Diversity, National Forests, National Geographic, National Monuments, National Parks, On Assignment, Public Land, Unhidden, Yosemite / 27.12.2021

A few weeks ago, I received a detailed message from my friend and colleague Shelton Johnson. As an interpretive ranger at Yosemite National Park, he expressed to me his concern for the continued preservation of the stories he shares about the U.S. citizens of African descent who protected and patrolled these public lands more than a century ago, the famed Buffalo Soldiers.“I'll be retiring in a few years, and I'm currently the only permanent African American National Park Ranger in the Sierra Nevada which includes both Yosemite and...

#BlackLivesMatter, Banff, Black Lives Matter, Charitable Giving, Diversity, Ice Age Trail, The Arctic, Through-Hiking, Winter / 13.12.2021

In partnership with Polar Explorers, an Illinois-based guiding company, the Joy Trip Project is proud to announce the first recipients of the Matthew Henson Scholarship! Emily Ford and Stephen Scott have been awarded free tuition to attend a five-day introduction to a winter travel training course in the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area of Northern Minnesota. To honor the legacy of the great innovator of Arctic exploration and winter adventure, this program aims to inspire people of color - in particular, emerging outdoor guides or people with current or...

#BlackLivesMatter, Banff, Black Lives Matter, Diversity, Environmental Justice, Film preview, Film Review, Ice Age Trail, Madison, Nelson Institute, Wisconsin / 10.12.2021

As Midwesterners huddled safely in their homes to avoid the frigid chill of a Wisconsin winter and the devastating trauma of a world-wide pandemic, Emily Ford set out on a long walk with a borrowed sled dog named Diggins. Well acquainted with the hazardous weather of the upper Midwest, this professional gardener from Duluth, Minnesota aimed to traverse the length of the Ice Age National Scenic Hiking Trail (IAT), a distance of more than 1,200 miles through some of the coldest temperatures in recorded history. The new film,...

#BlackLivesMatter, Black Lives Matter, Books, Capitol Christmas Tree, Choose Outdoors, Diversity, National Forests, National Geographic, National Monuments, National Parks, Unhidden / 03.12.2021

Earlier this week I met for lunch at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C. with my new editor Allyson Johnson from National Geographic. A few weeks ago we finalized the details of a contract for me to write an ambitious new journal that shares the enduring legacy of Black American history as interpreted by the National Park Service. In part inspired by the Negro Motorist Green-Book published by Victor Hugo Green from 1936 through 1966, this project aims to reveal the hidden stories of our common heritage as citizens...