Climbing, Diversity, Expedition Denali, Expedition News / 24.02.2012

[caption id="attachment_6921" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="NOLS Denali Expedition participants Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, Chelesea Griffie, Philip Henderson, James Mills & Stephen Shobe"][/caption]   For the first time a team of African-American climbers is assembling to make a bid for the summit of the tallest peak in North America, Mount Denali. To be lead by the National Outdoor Leadership School in 2013 this expedition aims to encourage minority youth to enjoy outdoor recreation as part of an active lifestyle as well as create a cadre of role models for careers in environmental protection. Also known...

Adventure Media Review, Art, Climbing, Commentary, Diversity / 07.02.2012

I believe in symbols. The Endless Knot is a captivating image that illustrates a guiding principle of the Joy Trip Project. Everything is connected and united into a dynamic whole of infinite possibilities. As an expression of art I hope to share my vision of the Endless Knot to raise funding for an upcoming project. I’ve been invited to take part in a historic climb to put the first all-African-American team on the summit of Mount Denali. As one of the few people of color working in the outdoor...

#ORSummer, Business, Diversity, Environmental Justice, Gear Whore Confessions, Outdoor Retailer, Summer / 15.08.2011

I spent more than a week trying to get Chris Keyes to return my calls. So when the senior editor at Outside Magazine reached out to shake my hand during the breakfast meeting of the Conservation Alliance I was naturally thrilled. It’s at these events during the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market when the distance between professional relationships shrinks and contact can be made face to face. But the depth and strength of any relationship should never be taken for granted. And as I discovered it’s usually best to truly connect with a person before you try to game an exchange of business cards into something more than the meeting of two people.
Book Review, Diversity, Environmental Justice, Sierra Club / 11.08.2011

From Emancipation Day through the first decade of the 20th century, Gloryland spans the arch of freedom. In his premiere novel veteran National Park Service ranger Shelton Johnson chronicles the path of an African-American man born mere hours after the abolition of slavery at the end of the Civil War. Narrated by lead character Elijah Yancy the story unfolds in the years that follow to track his life’s course to become empowered by the liberty to be found in service to his country and communion with nature. Fleeing the...

#ORSummer, Diversity, Environmental Justice, National Parks, Outdoor Retailer, Podcast, Special Events, Summer, Yosemite / 10.08.2011

For those of us who spend a great deal of time outdoors it’s hard to believe that there are many of those who don’t. Especially when it comes to our national parks there is an entire segment of the United States population, natural born citizens who seldom if ever visit. This is particularly true among people of color. African-Americans, Hispanics and other ethnic minorities spend far less time in nature than their white counterparts. And in a shifting demographic where minorities will soon become the majority there’s rising concern throughout the conservation movement that one day in the not so distant future most U.S. citizens will have no personal relationship with or affinity for the natural world. This concern is expressed most eloquently by National Park Ranger Shelton Johnson. The only permanent African-American ranger at Yosemite National Park his mission is to share with audiences, black and white, lessons of stewardship that illustrate the bond with nature that is every U.S. citizen’s birth rite. An interpretive ranger that tells the story of the Buffalo Soldiers, African-American cavalrymen who projected Yosemite at the turn of last century, Johnson puts into context the importance of wilderness not merely as a point of national pride but an intrinsic value of what it mean to be human.
Adventure Activism, Adventure Media Review, Diversity, Environmental Justice, Film preview, National Parks, PBS / 18.05.2011

Travel is an event of transformation. In 1961 a long bus ride from Washington D.C. to New Orleans changed the world forever. But the PBS American Experience documentary “The Freedom Riders” will likely do little to alter your perspective of a journey upon the open road. Instead I hope that it will open your awareness to the fear and vulnerability a conspicuous minority will face even today while traveling and exposed to the hostility of an entitled majority.