Diversity Resources in the Outdoor Industry

Explore Organizations Supporting and Facilitating Diversity Outdoors

*Note: This blog is continuously updated to promote diverse resources in the outdoors. Last updated February 24, 2021. The original post was created on June 12, 2020. 

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 every day, in our corner of this industry. We commit to listening to—and amplifying—Black voices and BIPOC, 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: a collection of BIPOC-led organizations doing amazing work. These groups span many interest areas: including outdoor recreation, travel media, tour providers, summer camps, environmental issues, sustainability, advocacy, 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.

Outdoor Organizations

Melanin Basecamp Logo

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 Logo

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 Logo

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 – “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.”

The Outdoor CEO Pledge

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.”

NAARVA Logo

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.

NBS Logo

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.”

Sustainability & Environmental Organizations

Indigenous Rising

Indigenous Rising An Indigenous Environmental Network Project: “Indigenous Peoples are Rising Up in Solidarity to defend our Rights as Indigenous Peoples; to protect the Sacredness of, the Territorial Integrity of, and Rights of (Grandmother) Mother Earth; and the Rights of Future Generations. We are building solidarity from the Global South to the North to fulfill our sacred duties, listening to the teachings of our elders and the voices of our youth and women, to act wisely to carry out our responsibilities to enhance the health and respect the sacredness of Mother Earth, and to demand climate justice now. Indigenous Peoples will not stand idle as we tell the world the Earth is the source of life to be protected, not merely a resource to be exploited.”

Ocean Collectiv Logo

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 Logo

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 LifeLead 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 Adventure

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!”

Camp Elso

Camp ELSO “How We Do It: To provide balance our framework is intentional design to apply a racial equity lens to each days frame of view: western vs. traditional/cultural.”

Wild Diversity

Wild Diversity “Our Mission: Wild Diversity helps to create a personal connection to the outdoors for Black, Indigenous, all People of Color (BIPOC) & the LGBTQ+ communities, through outdoor adventures and education.”

Land Loss Prevention

Land Loss Prevention Project “Our Mission: The Land Loss Prevention Project (LLPP) was founded in 1982 by the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers to curtail epidemic losses of Black owned land in North Carolina.  LLPP was incorporated in the state of North Carolina in 1983.  The organization broadened its mission in 1993 to provide legal support and assistance to all financially distressed and limited resource farmers and landowners in North Carolina.”

We Act

WE ACT “Our Mission: WE ACT’s mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices.”

 

Urban Creators

Urban CreatorsAbout Us: The Urban Creators is a platform for radical and collaborative imagination. Since 2010 we have used food, art, and education as tools to nurture resilience and self-determination in our neighborhood. Now, we are supporting the emergence of a new generation of Urban Creators by cooperatively incubating and investing in local businesses, organizations, artists, growers, and organizers whose work has a meaningful and lasting impact on the overall health, safety, and equity of our communities.”

NBEJN

National Black Environmental Justice Network “Our Mission: NBEJN works to build a world where Black people live in communities free from the vestiges of systemic racism and environmental degradation with full access to opportunities for building a quality life for Black children and families.power, civil rights and human rights.”

 

Outdoor Tourism & Tour Operators

Advewnture in Black

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 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

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!”

Melanated Campout“Melanated Campout was created by 3 friends who wanted to challenge their friends to do something different, relaxing, and exciting. Are you living your best life filled with relaxation and adventure? Do you like the idea of camping but cannot see yourself “roughing it”? Are you open to having a weekend where you can reconnect with nature, camp in style, partake in adventuresome games and activities, as well as party under the stars? We have the perfect solution: Melanated Campout!”

Passport Required“Vision: Wayfaring into world destinations unknown will bring incredible camaraderie, uncharted peace, and full laughter to backpackers, explorers, wanderers, magic bean buyers, and those in search of something more. Mission: Connect the world. Ease regret.”

Destination Indigenous

Destination Indigenous“Destination Indigenous invites you to see the beauty of nature through our eyes, experience the best of our legendary hospitality, and feel a deep connection through our shared traditions and storied history.”

Black Travel Club

Black Travel Club“As frequent travelers and self-described nomads, we learned a lot of things the hard way, through countless hours of research, and as former travel agents.  We want YOU to benefit from that experience and also each other’s travel experiences.  That’s why we’re building a member’s only community of Black travelers to help you discover new places and experiences, connect with other Black travelers, and explore together.  Be sure to sign up for our email list so you can get notified when we officially open up memberships, and in the meantime, get updates when we launch new group trips.”

Blacks in Travel and Tourism

Blacks in Travel and Tourism“The National Blacks in Travel & Tourism Collaborative’s (BTT) mission is to ensure Black travel and tourism businesses are full participants in the travel industry and to help build more diverse and inclusive destinations.”

CHAT

Cultural Heritage Alliance for Tourism (CHAT South Florida)– “The Cultural Heritage Alliance for Tourism, Inc. works to enhance the business and tourism capacity of small businesses and attractions in heritage neighborhoods and multicultural communities. CHAT creates opportunities to engage and increase participation in their local tourism ecosystems which ultimately helps to strengthen and sustain tourism in Florida. We seek to foster inclusion and collaboration across city, county and causeway lines. Through our CHAT networks, we serve as a tour and business development company that partners with tourism-related small businesses, local attractions and tour guides to curate cultural and heritage bus and walking tour experiences to drive more locals, tourists and dollars into heritage neighborhoods and multicultural communities.”

Civil Rights Trail Tours

Civil Rights Trail Tours“We provide talented and well spoke disadvantaged young adults with the tools to become professional Black Cultural storytellers, tour directors, tour guides, media arts professionals and business owners. In addition, we match each student up with a tourism mentor to provide confidence and motivation and to enhance each students chance for success.We believe in the importance of sharing authentic stories and providing caring mentors for our youth. Our groundbreaking Certified Youth Tourism entrepreneurship programs provide students with online and in person tourism training”

Walking The Spirit Tours

Walking The Spirit Tours“We help visitors get an in depth, unique French travel experience so that they can effortlessly discover the soul of France and gain an Afrocentric perspective like they’ll find with no other professional.”

Travel Media Groups

Travel Noir Logo

Travel NoireA global community of like-minded explorers with exclusive content and conversations tailored for travelers of color.”

Diversify Outdoors “We are a coalition of social media influencers – bloggers, athletes, activists, and entrepreneurs – who share the goal of promoting diversity in outdoor spaces where BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other diverse identities have historically been marginalized and silenced. We are passionate about promoting equity and access to the outdoors for all — that includes being body positive and celebrating different skill levels and abilities.”

Fly Brother “Ernest White II is a storyteller, explorer, executive producer and host of television travel docu-series FLY BROTHER with Ernest White II, currently airing in the United States on Public Television Stations and Create TV nationwide. He is also founder and CEO of Presidio Pictures, a new film, television, and digital media studio centering BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and senior/elder narratives.”

The Catch Me If You Can “A first generation American, Jessica was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan to Ugandan parents. She attended St. John’s University in New York, where she earned her undergraduate degree in English literature. In just a few years after college, she started (and ended) a career in pharmaceutical sales, moved to Japan to teach English, and completed a graduate degree at the London School of Economics. She captured her experiences along the way, honing her photography skills.”

Black & Abroad “Black & Abroad is a multi-platform travel & lifestyle company. Since 2015, our digital outlets, international events and travel experiences have redefined experiences for the modern Black traveler. We pride ourselves on curating international, culturally conscious luxury & adventure travel moments for Black travelers while providing a crowd-sourced information hub for urban explorers.”

Soul Of America “Soul Of America Travel, called “SoulOfAmerica” for Internet purposes, pioneered black travel media on the web in 1997 under different name. We renamed to SoulOfAmerica in 1998. Of course, we stand on the shoulders of many authors who published Green Books during the 1900s Jim Crow Era.”

Carolyn Finney “Storyteller, traveller, cultural interrogater, accidental environmentalist: Carolyn Finney, PhD is a storyteller, author and a cultural geographer. The aim of her work is to develop greater cultural competency within environmental organizations and institutions, challenge media outlets on their representation of difference, and increase awareness of how privilege shapes who gets to speak to environmental issues and determine policy and action.”

Bam Organization “Bam Mendiola: Bam (they/them) is a national speaker, published writer, and diversity consultant.  Their work is informed by their social location as a queer person of color and has been recently featured by NBC, REI, and Mountainfilm Festival. Their NBC documentary has received over 200,000 views and their essays have been featured on the covers of Washington Trails and Mountaineer Magazine.”

Have a BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) 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 want to support and amplify the BIPOC voices that are deeply involved with the outdoor industry. Thank you for your participation in bringing awareness to amazing organizations, operators and groups that have been working to amplify diversity long before we clued in and started our own education. We realize we have a lot to learn.