Diversity

Books, Diversity, Greening Youth Foundation, Interview, National Forests, National Parks, Podcast, ReThinkOutside / 13.01.2020

Hey everybody it’s January 2020 Happy New Year! In fact happy new decade for the 21st century. It’s kind of cool to be living in the future, a time I tried to imagine as a kid growing up in the 80s. But here we are. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come. And still what a long way yet to go. If you’ve been following my work on this podcast or in a few magazine articles I’ve written over last few years you know that I put a lot of effort into the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion or DEI in the world outdoor recreation and environmental conservation. Throughout the last decade I’ve reported a lot about the progress that the outdoor industry has made in creating positive cultural and professional environments for people of color, the differently abled, those who identify as LGBTQ and other socially marginalized communities. But there is still so much that outdoor retailers, manufactures and non profit organizations can do to create spaces where everyone can not only be made to feel welcome, but encouraged to thrive, succeed and excel. I spent a bit of time throughout 2019 exploring how various institutions in the outdoor industry are rethinking the various pathways they can take to get a wide variety of different people outside. So I made stop in Atlanta Georgia to speak to a team of subject matter experts who are leading the way toward making the outdoors more diverse, equitable and inclusive.
Banff, Diversity, Film Festival / 01.12.2019

Right up to the moment we were about to start I was convinced no one was going to show up. A chilly wet snow had begun to fall at the Banff Centre and I was certain that few would welcome the opportunity to gather outside for a fireside chat, even if there was free hot chocolate. When the folks at Mountain Equipment Co-Op asked me to moderate a panel discussion on diversity, equity and inclusion in the outdoors on the final day of the Banff Mountain Film Festival, of course I immediately said yes. But when the moment arrived I sincerely doubted that we would draw crowd willing to discuss these complicated issues while standing out in the cold. Turns out I was wrong.
Banff, Climbing, Diversity, Film Festival, Influencers, ReThinkOutside / 31.10.2019

From the moment I first arrived I was made to feel welcome. I remember on that first day, years ago,  I was greeted so warmly by Jim Olver the director of customer service at the Banff Centre For Arts & Creativity.

You just showed up and glommed on to one of my tours,” he reminded me. “Now look at you. You’re back as a big-time speaker.”

For more than a decade I’ve enjoyed the privilege of attending the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival in Alberta, Canada. Like most aspiring adventurers I first became aware of Banff through the amazing films that tour the world every year and feature the best athletes in the sports of skiing, climbing, mountain biking and kayaking. I was also inspired by the remarkable stories of passionate people and communities that express their place in the world through an active relationship with nature. And despite marginal skills and few noteworthy accomplishments as an alpinist I managed to become part of this annual 9-day celebration of mountain culture. 

American Rivers, Diversity, Podcast, Public Land / 04.10.2019

Very early in my career, way back in the 90’s I received the gift of a book, South of Haunted Dreams by Eddy Harris. As a young Black man venture out into a professional environment that was mostly white I took great comfort in this remarkable story of a person with a background similar to my own who was successfully leading a life of travel and adventure. In his book, Harris recounts his experiences of making his way through the Southern United States on motorcycle while enjoying occasional...

Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Breaking News, Diversity, Environmental Protection, Environmental Studies, Madison, Nelson Institute, Wisconsin / 02.09.2019

As a journalist I believe my primary function is community engagement. It has been my intention from the beginning of my career to encourage and inspire those within my sphere of influence to become thoroughly engaged in both outdoor recreation and environmental conservation. That’s why I’m pleased to announce that I have accepted a position at the University of Wisconsin, Madison Nelson Institute For Environmental Studies as Community Partners Liaison. This title and a small salary are meant to formalize my place on the UW Madison Campus. Though I...

Adventure Activism, Commentary, Diversity, Environmental Justice, Environmental Protection, Latino Outdoors, National Forests, National Parks, On Assignment, Public Land, The Pathways Project / 15.08.2019

The weather on this August day in Atlanta was seasonably warm. That is to say, it was hot! But when confronted by the realities of climate change everyone seemed to think it was a lot hotter than it should have been. The temperature was well above 95º Fahrenheit as we walked along the trails of the East Palisades section of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Sweat poured down my face and completely drenched my clothes. Despite the heat on a sunny Saturday morning the parking lot was full and dozens of people came out to experience the joy of nearby nature.