Introducing the Outdoor Afro Leadership Fellows of 2014!
What might a Los Angeles women’s health practitioner, a DC public policy director, and a Seattle real estate appraiser have in common?
They are a part of the Outdoor Afro Leadership Fellows Team who are on a mission to reconnect African Americans in their community back to nature! A total of 15 individuals were hand-picked out of a competitive pool of applicants from around the United States to join the team. This 2014 class represents a variety of professional backgrounds, outdoor expertise, and key urban centers around the country.
Continuing the success of the previous two years of leadership development, each leader is tasked to help expand the national Outdoor Afro social and nature network by leading trips, sharing experiences via social media, and forging partnerships with relevant outdoor organizations and groups.
Think: nature ambassadors
Next month, the new and returning leaders are gathering in person to kick off a year of innovative partnership and training on the coast of Northern California. Leaders will receive a crash course in trip planning, conservation ethics, risk management, social media, and policy supported by leaders from non-profits, leading outdoor industry brands, such as REI, KEEN Footwear, Klean Kanteen, Sierra Club, and National Wildlife Federation – California, and more.
As you know, Outdoor Afro began as a social media site in 2009 to celebrate and inspire African American connections to nature. Now more than ever all people of all ages need a stronger connection to nature for both our health and to support a sustainable environment. The strength of the team lies in their ability to help families feel welcome and supported in active nature activities close to home. We are so proud of this team!
The 2014 Leaders:
Autumn Saxton-Ross, Washington DC – Program Director for the Joint Center’s Health Policy Institute and green space advocate
Beky Branagan, Cary, NC – Girl Scout leader and environmental educator
Clay Anderson, Bay Area, CA – Naturalist, ecologist, and artist
Clifton Sorrell, Richmond, CA – Father of five; landscape architect and Boy Scout Leader
Deidre Bryant, Richmond, VA – Community health professional and mom
Josh Garubanda, St. Paul, MN – Outdoor educator, kayak instructor and avid biker
Mashawn Butler, Austin, TX – Graduate student and Team Lead for Texas Parks and Wildlife
Matthew Reese, Seattle, WA – Real estate appraiser, husband, dad, and snowboarder
Nicole Jackson, Columbus, OH – Nature educator, animal lover, and former rock climbing instructor
Nkem Ndefo, Los Angeles, CA – Women’s health professional and Tension Release Exercise coach
Stefan Moss, Atlanta, GA — Professor of Environmental Science; researches ecotoxicology and environmental education
SteVon Edwards, Louisville, KY – Community health specialist
Teresa Baker, Bay Area, CA – Housing coordinator and National Park champion
Vi Yeboah, Chicago, IL – Accountant, auditor, beach lover, and conservationist
Zoe Polk, San Francisco, CA – Outdoor enthusiast and human rights attorney
We would like to thank our sponsors, staff, and volunteers for their generous time, creativity, and resources to make this work come to life! REI, KEEN Footwear, Clif Bar, The Sierra Club, Swarovski Optik, Klean Kanteen, The National Parks, National Wildlife Federation – California, and the Kapor Center for Social Impact – THANK YOU!
Do check our Twitter page and Facebook in the coming weeks for dispatches on our training weekend #OALT