Summer is a time for travel and enjoying the great outdoors. Whether it is a love for fresh pine smell, the scenic views at a National Park, or a long trail that leads to an outstanding view of the ocean - the outdoors is a big part of how many of us reconnect & recharge. But nature is not accessible to everyone.
For members of the BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized communities, taking to the outdoors to enjoy fresh air, clear their minds, and enjoy the widely proven mental and physical wellness benefits is not an easy decision to make.
- People of color are 3x more likely than white people to live in places that have no immediate access to nature and have less disposable income to take outdoor trips.
- Cultural factors such as “black people don’t camp or hike” and the possibility of feeling unsafe or experiencing violence, create complex barriers to safely accessing nature spaces.
- Studies suggest that African Americans account for less than 10 percent of visitors to our U.S. national parks.
Racial environmental inequality is an issue that is far too often overlooked; as a study found, despite evidence appointing racism as the major cause of environmental inequality, most Americans still believe that when it comes to the environment, race does not play a role in the barriers that exist.
Although research on the intersection of LGBTQ+ and environmental injustice is still lacking, and discrimination is often contributed to other areas, such as housing and healthcare, a significant cultural barrier exists as LGBTQ+ people are considered “non-outdoorsy.”
For example, as most summer camp programs divide their accommodations into sections for boys and girls, many youth members who want to experience the "second home" that summer camps provide, immediately encounter significant challenges. Enabling equal accessibility to enjoy the benefits of nature for the LGBTQ+ community is a health matter.
By closing the “nature gap,” we can empower these marginalized communities with opportunities to make the outdoors equally accessible to all and improve their overall health & wellbeing.
We invite you to Diversify the Outdoors in support of the following nonprofits working to create a more inclusive outdoor space while raising funds to further support their mission:
Black Outside - With a mission to reconnect Black & African American youth to the outdoors, Black Outside has a focus on providing culturally relevant programming, inspired volunteers, and a passion for connecting youth to the powerful history of Black people in the outdoors.
Brave Trails - A nonprofit organization with a mission of connecting LGBTQ+ youth to their people, place, and passion. They offer leadership summer camps in California & Maryland, family camps, backpacking, mental health services, and year-round leadership programming.
HBCUs Outside - On a mission to provide greater representation in the greater outdoors, working to offer resources on how to get outside and get access to equipment, building communities, and involving outdoor brands and partners to develop a sustainable change.
Support this unique nonprofit coalition to Diversify the Outdoors right here!
You can also text OUTDOORS to 707070 (US only, data & msg rates apply). We also encourage you to share this fundraiser with your community and social networks.