Diversity Resources in the Outdoors
Sharing Several Groups That Lead the Way
At Liquid Spark, we realize that the ethnic diversity of participants in the outdoor adventure industry is not accurately reflected through national and regional marketing efforts. We see it everyday, in our corner of this industry. We commit to listening to—and amplifying—black voices, as well as seeking out existing resources to continue our own education. Our first step in our own education process is to look for what’s out there now. We want to share what we are finding, and hope it will help other industry members to learn more, too.
Here is the start of our self-education work: an exceptional collection of black-led organizations doing amazing work. These groups span many interest areas: including outdoor recreation, travel media, tour providers, summer camps, environmental issues, sustainability, and more. This is only the tip of the iceberg. We realize that, and yet, we want to start somewhere. We will continue to update this list. We encourage other adventure brands to also explore ways to support, learn from, and join alongside these groups and promote diversity in the outdoor industry.
Black-Led Outdoor Organizations
Melanin Base Camp –“Whether you bike, climb, hike, or paddle, Melanin Base Camp is your own home too. Join us as we work together to increase representation and opportunities for people of color in outdoor adventure sports. Along the way we won’t shy away from sensitive topics (race and gender) but we’ll do so in a way that creates a safe space for people with marginalized identities. Join the movement and help us #diversifyoutdoors.
Check out their Guide to Outdoor Allyship!
Brown Girls Climb – “Brown Girls Climb is a small Women of Color owned and operated company with the mission to promote and increase visibility of diversity in climbing by establishing a community of climbers of color, encouraging leadership opportunities for self-identified women climbers of color, and by creating inclusive opportunities to climb and explore for underrepresented communities.”
The Outdoor Journal Tour – “The Outdoor Journal Tour is designed for women who want to dive deeper into their personal development, but are bored with traditional self-help methods. Participants have the opportunity to explore scenic landscapes and hiking trails while being guided through an empowering (and customized) personal discovery process that uses physical activity, journaling and meditation as healing tools. The process includes daily writing prompts, engaging exercises and weekly guided meditations.”
Black Outside, Inc – “Black Outside provides culturally relevant outdoor experiences to youth of color across central Texas. We (re)connect youth to the outdoors through school-site programming, overnight summer camps, and one-off outdoor adventures. We intentionally craft outdoor experiences that build off of the powerful history of people of color in the outdoors and deepen the leadership skills of our students.”
Outdoor Afro – “Outdoor Afro has become the nation’s leading, cutting edge network that celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature. We help people take better care of themselves, our communities, and our planet! Outdoor Afro is a national non-profit organization with leadership networks around the country. With nearly 80 leaders in 30 states from around the country, we connect thousands of people to outdoor experiences, who are changing the face of conservation. So come out in nature with us, or be a partner to help us grow our work so that we can help lead the way for inclusion in outdoor recreation, nature, and conservation for all!”
Soul Trak Outdoors – “Soul Trak Outdoors is a D.C. based nonprofit organization that connects communities of color to outdoor spaces while also building a coalition of diverse outdoor leaders. We run a variety of programming to serve hands-on, experiential programming.”
Outdoor CEO Pledge – “The Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge connects leading outdoor brands with inclusion advocates to advance representation for people of color across the industry. We’re focused on enhancing representation across staff and executive teams, media and marketing, and athletes/ambassadors. By building a relationship of support, empathy and understanding, versus external skepticism and internal stress, we’re moving the outdoor industry towards authentic inclusion.”
National African American RV’ers Association – “NAARVA has evolved from an idea conceived by a small group of acquaintances in fifty two (52) rigs at Winton Woods Campground, outside Cincinnati, Ohio, in the summer of 1993, to a National Organization with a membership in excess of 1400 active RVers. Currently more than fifty (50) local clubs are now Chartered or Affiliated Chapters of NAARVA.”
National Association of Black Scuba Divers – NABS’ purpose is to foster camaraderie among African American divers, and to address the unique problems and concerns of the African-American community. Membership is open to anyone regardless of race, color, gender, handicap, or diving agency affiliation; they look to create a network of people and resources that provide educational experiences that enhance and promote an appreciation of diving and an awareness of the aquatic environment. This network will build unity and camaraderie to transfer the legacy to future generations.
National Brotherhood of Skiers – “The National Brotherhood of Skiers mission is to identify, develop and support athletes of color who will WIN international and Olympic winter sports competition representing the United States and to increase participation in winter sports. It is through the local chapters, almost 60 nationwide, that the NBS provides education and opportunities to increase participation in the sport.”
Black-Led Sustainability & Environmental Organizations
Ocean Collectiv designs, builds, and implements creative and practical solutions for a healthy ocean. Our collaborative of experts supports clients in advancing ocean sustainability, grounded in social justice. We provide fresh ideas on policy, science, and commerce. For each project, we tailor the ideal interdisciplinary team from our diverse roster of experts.
Off Grid In Color – “Off Grid In Color is an agro-based sanctuary for health and wellness. Our mission is to encourage others to take steps towards greater self sufficiency through farm raised goods, doula services, and community outreach/education.”
Lead to Life – “Lead to Life is transforming weapons into shovels for tree planting ceremonies at sites that have been impacted by violence or carry spiritual significance across Atlanta (occupied lands of the Cherokee and Creek people) and Oakland (occupied lands of the Ohlone people.)”
Black Outdoor Adventurers – “BOA’s main mission is to expose black & brown people to the healing power of nature & the outdoors, enrich lives, create community, care for Gaia and take part in some kick-ass adventures!”
Black-Led Outdoor Adventure & Tour Operators
Adventure in Black – “Adventure in Black is a full-service travel and entertainment company designed to uplift and empower black travelers. We design group tours and excursions that introduce participants to the very best each destination has to offer. We bring the fun and exclusivity that you deserve, all while creating a community of like-minded individuals. Our networking occasions and regional trips bring young professionals together in unique and exciting ways. So say yes to new Adventures with Adventure in Black.”
Nomadness Travel Tribe – “NOMADNESS is an award winning travel lifestyle brand. We represent the underrepresented demographic in mainstream travel through NOMADNESS Travel Tribe. We are the travel influencers and innovators. We are a tangible travel family of over 20,000 black and brown nomads, responsible for over $50,000,000 being injected into the travel industry annually. Our mission is to show the world that travel has no racial, gender, religious, economic, or interest limitations through our community representation and relevancy. We were first to represent the millennial travel demographic, and we are always looking to innovate our sector of the industry.”
Black Girls Travel Too –“Experiencing a BGTT trip silences the noise and offer women the freedom to live up to no one’s expectations of our lives but our OWN! You deserve a seat at this table, and we are saving one just for you. It’s your time, pack your bags and let us take care of everything else!”
Black-Led Travel Media Groups
Have a black-led organization, operator or group you’d like to add?
Please contact us with links and additional contacts you would like to see on here. We’re actively taking part in the conversation that is having a ripple effect across the outdoor industry right now and thank you for bringing awareness to amazing organizations, operators and groups that have been working to amplify diversity long before we clued in and realized we had a lot to learn.