Meet Deidre “Dee” Bryant. Mother, Wife, Traveler, Adventure Seeker and Second Year Outdoor Afro Leader. Located in Richmond, Virginia, Dee and her local Outdoor Afro community have ice skated, hiked, kayaked in some of Virginia’s most beautiful places.
Dee recently shared some her highlights from 2014, her goals for 2015 and some tips on how to incorporate a wine pairings with a hike.
Why did you apply to be a leader?
I love being outside and I am a bit of an adventure junkie, so I applied to Outdoor Afro to be more intentional about the role of nature and adventure in my life. Being on the Leadership Team pushes me to stay active and come up with interesting activities to share with other people.
What has been your favorite adventure with Outdoor Afro Richmond?
So far my favorite event has been the trip to the Westmoreland Berry Farm and Winery Tour. This trip had a good turnout and it brought out different people. During the trip, people got a chance to hike and enjoy the heavily wooded trail, wonderful wooden bridge, abundant wildlife and beautiful streams. We also had a picnic and then enjoyed a wine tasting at a nearby winery.
What did you learn from Outdoor Afro in your first year?
I learned that there are many like-minded black people that enjoy being outside and have similar experiences in nature. Many people invited to reconnect with their childhood memories through coming out to an Outdoor Afro event.
What have you learned about your state and your Outdoor Afro community?
Virginia has so many open spaces to visit and Outdoor Afro allows me to share the beauty of this area with other people, whether they are native Virginians or transplants. The mission of Outdoor Afro really resonates with people and they are excited to find a community of people that look like them and enjoy doing some of the same things that they like to do. I receive a lot of interest whenever I publicize an event, so it lets me know that I am on target in terms of planning events that a wide range of people will enjoy.
Have you learned anything about yourself?
I realized that I am good at organizing and finding events that appeal to a wide range of people. Being an Outdoor Afro Leader has pushed me to be more active and challenge myself physically. At the end of the day, after the event is over, I feel just as rewarded as members do and I love that.
What excites you most about returning to the Leadership Team in 2015?
I feel like I haven’t done everything that I wanted to accomplish and that I had more adventures left. I am excited to continue to grow the Outdoor Afro Richmond community and reach more local Outdoor Afros. I’m also excited that our team has grown, including expanding to new regions including Northern Virginia, South Carolina. I’m definitely interested in collaborating on regional activities with other leaders.
What events are you planning for 2015?
I’m just getting started, very excited about learning new things and partnering with REI and other Outdoor Afro leaders for events. I’m planning a camping trip and am going to participate in African American National Parks Day on June 6. I’m also looking forward to organizing hikes in parks that are new to me and to our members. I’ll also repeat some of our most popular events such as the winery tour and the history walk.