There’s been a lot of turmoil and unrest in our country lately, mostly centered around racism. The black lives lost to police violence–the most recent being George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor–has launched an explosive civil rights movement across the nation. Protests abound, voices are raised, and social media is rich with demands for change. And rightly so; the systemic racism in the U.S. is real, and that extends past the city streets, courtrooms, capital buildings, college campuses, and workplaces of the city; it involves access to the outdoors, too. Which is why we wanted to do more than simply say “Black Lives Matter in the Outdoors,” but actually do something about it.
Granted, it took us a minute to speak up. And we hope our pause wasn’t perceived as indifference. It was actually just the opposite. All of the information and truth about the extent of racism in our country breaks our hearts. But we were afraid to speak too soon. Afraid of saying empty words without any action to back them up. Afraid of saying the wrong thing. Of giving lip service to such an important movement. Afraid of blindly diving into action without actually doing anything that sparks lasting change and afraid to seem like we were just jumping on a bandwagon (however necessary that bandwagon is).
Then we got in our heads with thoughts like “we’re too small to make a difference,” “nobody really cares where we stand on the subject,” and “we don’t know enough to speak out.” But we’re taking action now and letting our voices be heard. And more than speaking out: until the end of June, we will be donating profits from all sales of our brand new line of outdoorsy clothing and accessories to Black Outside, Inc. Because we believe in what they’re doing to help connect black youth to the outdoors and close the gap of unequal access to the great outdoors that we personally love so much (did you know that only 1% of Texas State Park participants identify as Black/African-American?!).
So support Black Outside, Inc. and support meaningful change (and outfit yourself in dope organic gear at the same time) by putting your money where your mouth is. Check out the Terradrift Shop here or head straight to Black Outside Inc.’s website to make a donation. And thanks for being committed to helping diversify the outdoors! Because black lives matter in the outdoors and everywhere else.
Alisha is a freelance outdoor journalist and photographer based in Ogden, UT. She loves backpacking, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and snowboarding (even though she’s terrible at it). She’s also pretty sure she’s addicted to coffee. alishamcdarris.com