Outdoor Afro sits in a unique position to communicate with an incredible community. Through our social channels, we reach 130,000+ people per day and are changing the narrative of who engages in the Outdoor by posting thousands of photos and stories.
Outdoor Afro supports and promotes policies in the following areas:
- Connecting Black People to the Outdoors – Ensuring Black people have access, representation, meaningful participation, and quality nature-based experiences.
- Reimagining Blackness in the Outdoors – Uncovering and amplifying the historical and ongoing contributions of Black people in the outdoors.
- Protecting the Outdoors – Protecting and enhancing our lands, wildlife, and waterways for long term sustainability.
Connect Black People to the Outdoors
Ensuring Black people have access, representation, meaningful participation, and quality experiences in the outdoors, including:
- Connecting Black communities across the country to quality experiences in the outdoors together and increase their sense of belonging.
- Ensuring safe spaces for Black people in the outdoors by removing barriers to green spaces and places (e.g. programs, employment, resources for transportation, gear, permits, etc.).
- Promoting culturally responsive policies, programs, protocols, and staff in the outdoors so Black people are acknowledged, valued, and understood in green spaces and places.
Specific issues include:
- Advocating for increased funding to support nature-based experiences that lower or remove barriers (e.g. transportation, permits, gear/equipment, instruction), so that more people, especially youth and their families, can have efficient, affordable means to get outdoors – especially to those places close to home(e.g. Outdoors for All, Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E.S. Initiative).
- Elevating the voices of Black leaders, scholars, and community members engaged in addressing inequities and developing innovative solutions in land, water, and wildlife management (e.g. local, state, national parks, wildlife areas, community based green spaces.
Reimagine Blackness in the Outdoors
Uncovering and amplifying the historical and ongoing contributions of Black people in the outdoors, including:
- Amplifying the voices of Black people in the outdoors in all sectors (e.g. science, health, education, workforce) to reclaim lost narratives and build new ones.
- Promoting pathways for Black people to meaningfully engage in decisions that impact the Black community by holding positions of leadership and management of land, wildlife, and waterways.
- Identifying collective stewardship opportunities in collaboration with Indigenous peoples’ understanding that we all live on stolen land and Indigenous peoples must engage on how to protect their ancestral land and remove barriers that disproportionately impacted both Black and Indigenous peoples.
Specific issues include:
- Co-creating and enhancing land management plans, parks, monuments, and wildlife preserves that are dedicated to Black people and historical/current contributions (e.g. Land and Water Conservation Fund, Conservation Corp)
- Recognizing the historical and current contributions of Black policymakers, researchers, and practitioners, and/or Black-led institutions that are dedicated to the stewardship of our planet and our humanity in the outdoors and beyond.
- Co-developing pathways for Black people to more meaningfully engage in decisions about the planet with a focus on areas where we are not currently represented (e.g. 30×30 Campaign, Conservation Corp, Environmental Justice for All).
Protect the Outdoors
Protecting and enhancing our lands, wildlife, and waterways for long term sustainability, including:
- Defending the protection of lands/waterways/wildlife and the communities that depend on them.
- Recognizing the need to protect wildlife and their habitats as part of a healthy human ecosystem, while also supporting lawful and sustainable hunting and fishing practices.
- Working with national, regional, and local leaders to protect America’s lands, wildlife, and waterways, including recreational opportunities and the Black American jobs they support.
Specific issues include:
- Raising awareness within the Black community on the root causes of the environmental disparities and the promising policy solutions by leveraging nature-based experiences deepening their understanding of the implications and opportunities for Black communities.
- Supporting funding to improve our public lands, including the need to address the maintenance backlog with a focus on ensuring maintenance contracts are distributed equitably and are inclusive of Black-led organizations, agencies, foundations, and businesses (e.g. Land and Water Conservation Fund, Conservation Corp)
- Building relationships and support for federal, state and local agencies that set and monitor nature-based issues like outdoor recreation, wildlife management, and environmental policy (e.g. 30×30 Campaign, Environmental Justice for All, and promoting the Antiquities Act).