Honoring Black History Month: Anti-Racism in the Outdoors

Honoring Black History Month: Anti-Racism in the Outdoors

 ~ Anti-Racist Resources for Black History Month and Beyond: a 3-part Kit by SheFly Apparel® ~

SheFly Ambassador Chelsea Murphy (she_colorsnature on Instagram) sporting her pair in Leavenworth,WA

SheFly Ambassador Chelsea Murphy (she_colorsnature on Instagram) sporting her pair in Leavenworth,WA

Hey friends! February is Black History month and here at SheFly®, we are committed to anti-racism in our own lives, in feminism, and in the outdoors. The negative, lasting impact of whitewashing plays out in a variety of laws, discourses, and situations today, especially in the outdoors, where BIPOC are continually asked why they are in a certain place exploring, if the equipment is theirs or stolen, or worse (the incident harming birdwatcher Christian Cooper was just one example out of so many more that did [or didn’t] make headlines in 2020).

 

Legends like Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Marsha P. Johnson, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. have been at the forefront of civil rights movements throughout history, and the best way white folks can honor their progress is to continue it. And the first step to continuing and celebrating Black progress is by educating ourselves. White folks have to realize white supremacy is our issue and ours to solve. We hope this list of important sources detailing the intersection of race and the outdoors we’ve compiled adds to a diverse set of resources you’ve collected on your personal anti-racism journey:

Part 1: EDUCATE

Week 1 - Diving in to diversity [and the lack thereof] in the outdoors

Breaking Down the Lack of Diversity in Outdoor Spaces- Article 

Towards a More Inclusive Outdoors - Podcast 

How This Hiker Encourages The Black Community to Reclaim Nature- Video 


Week 2 - Heading out to hike: how racism plays out in outdoor recreational activities

For People of Color, Hiking isn’t Always an Escape- Article 


Unlikely Hikers Podcast- Chelsea Murphy Colors Nature- Podcast (Badass SheFly Ambassador Alert!!)


Recolor the Outdoors - TEDxTalk Video 


Week 3 - Putting it into perspective: how racism in environmentalism and shared public outdoor spaces throughout history plays out today

Environmentalism’s Racist History- Article 


It’s Time to Own up to the racism and violence embedded in the names of Public Lands and Parks- Article 


Anti-Racism in our National Parks- Video 


Optional: 

National Parks are Travel’s next Frontier for Racial Equality- Article 


Week 4 - Hammering it home: racism in the outdoors (and what we can all do about it!)

Why Race Matters when we Talk About the Environment- Article 


Embracing Intersectional Environmentalism- Leah Thomas & Kristy Drutman- Podcast 

 

When you’ve gotten through the above history, remember that there’s a lot of black history being made right now, too. Voting rights activist Stacey Abrams led the fight to win Georgia in the 2020 presidential election, turning Georgia blue for the first time since 1992. The new presidency started off with a bang with Kamala Harris as the first black (AND female AND Asian-American) vice president and first woman vice president in America’s history. 34-year-old Dr. Kizmekia Corbett lead the development of the COVID-19 vaccine. And the list goes on. What information can we share and amplify in our own communities?

 

Because many of us use social media as a learning and activism tool, let’s continue to choose wisely with the information that we take in for Black History Month. Be extra mindful that social media activism can quickly slip into performatism if not paired with true internal and external work, processing, and action. Here is a helpful diagram that details this process and how we can counteract it: 

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Graphic courtesy of Danielle Coke @ohhappydani on Instagram

Graphic courtesy of Danielle Coke @ohhappydani on Instagram

Part 2: SHARE

When using social media’s activism elements, be sure to decolonize and diversify your feed, center the voices of black activists, and pay black educators and creators for their anti-racist resources. Here are a few social media specific finds for this month (but again, 28 days is not the end of it, allyship is a lifelong process.):

  • SheFly Ambassador Chelsea Murphy’s She Colors History Self Education Station Instagram Series at @she_colorsnature

  • Rachel Cargle’s #DiscoverOurGlory Black History Learning Series found at @rachel.cargle

 

Part 3: ACT

A special note to our Black Community members**: 

As a company whose mission is rooted in increasing accessibility to the outdoors, we recognize the vitality of connecting dots across communities experiencing marginalization. SheFly® can’t just change the narrative from the man’s outdoor world — let’s be real. What we’re revolutionizing is the white, cis, able-bodied, man’s outdoor world. We won’t lie to you. As humans, we’ve made plenty of mistakes and we’ll undoubtedly oversee some things in the future, but one thing is for sure. Intersectional feminism is the way, and we’ll always continue to delve into anti-racism work as a company and as individuals. We’ll continue to highlight and prioritize diversity, equity, and representation in our brand and in the outdoor space. And we’re always open to exploring ways we can do better as a company, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. While we don’t have much to lend as a small business that’s been slammed by COVID-19, we would like to offer you a small, SheFly® gift — please email us at team@sheflyapparel.com with the subject line “Black History Month” to claim. Keep taking up space, your presence in the outdoors is radiant, powerful, and necessary. Here’s a little surge of black outdoor joy for your feed! (Special thanks to Gina Danza, @wildginaa on Instagram for creating this hashtag.) 

 

**Non-black-identifying folx: follow this hashtag and support black outdoor creators on Instagram! Be there for moments of injustice as well as joyful moments like these! Show us your allyship! Send us a screenshot of your donation to a black outdoor organization and we’ll send you a free SheFly® gift as well!**  Here are some suggestions of places to donate:


Have suggestions of other Black creators, activists, or campaigns to follow? Let us know! team@sheflyapparel.com