Outdoor Afro Promoting Leadership Team
A human rights attorney in San Francisco, a mom in Memphis and an accountant from Chicago have something important in common — they are a part of the Outdoor Afro Leadership Team to reconnect African Americans in their community back to nature.
A total of 13 individuals were hand-picked out of a generous pool of applicants from around the United States to join the team, according to a news release. This 2013 class represents a variety of backgrounds, outdoor expertise, and key urban centers from around the country.
Continuing the success of the previous pilot year, each leader is tasked to help expand the national Outdoor Afro network by leading trips, sharing experiences via social media, and forging partnerships with relevant outdoor organizations and groups.
Think: nature ambassadors.
This weekend, the new and returning leaders are gathering in person for the first time on a leadership fellowship for an innovative partnership and training in the woodlands of Northern California near Lucerne. Leaders will receive a crash course in trip planning, conservation themes, risk management, social media and policy supported by leaders from non-profits, leading outdoor industry companies and generous crowd-funding through Indiegogo.
Founded in 2009 by Rue Mapp of Oakland, Calif., — winner of the 2013 Outdoor Industry Inspiration Award and named to the Root 100 List of Most Influential African Americans in the United States in 2012 — Outdoor Afro began as a social media site to celebrate and inspire African American connections to nature.
“Now more than ever African Americans need a stronger connection to nature for both our health and to support a sustainable environment in our communities,” Mapp says. She says the strength of the team that Outdoor Afro is assembling lies in the ability of these leaders to help families feel welcome and supported in active nature activities close to home.
“The Outdoor Afro Leadership Team is a natural and timely expression of the organization’s mission that values connecting people to locally relevant outdoor opportunities led by everyday people who have a passion for nature,” Mapp says.
Caroliegh Price, of Klean Kanteen, a corporate partner of the training, says, “We are so excited to be partnering with this visionary team to support their mission and share our love of the outdoors.”
And David Munk, of KEEN Footwear adds, “We are proud to be represented by Outdoor Afro and it’s Leadership Team. Their energy to bring diversity into the outdoors is uplifting and inspiring.”
The 2013 leaders are:
- Alysha Pye, Los Angeles, Calif. – Mother of two and Pilates instructor.
- Beky Branagan, Cary, N.C. – Girl Scout leader and environmental educator.
- Clay Anderson, Bay Area, Calif. – Former park naturalist, ecologist, and artist.
- Clif DeBride, Portland, Ore. – Medical school student, and certified backcountry leadership instructor.
- Clifton Sorrell, Richmond, Calif. – Father of five; landscape architect and Boy Scout Leader.
- Melissa Danielle, Brooklyn, N.Y. – Health coach and organic food buying club organizer.
- Nkrumah Frasier, Hattiesburg, Miss. – Father and environmental scientist.
- Reginald Mitchell, Atlanta, Ga. – US Military veteran, and Director of “We Love To Hike.”
- Tan Scarborough, Memphis TN –Mother of two, beauty consultant and daycare owner.
- Teresa Baker, Bay Area, Calif. – Housing coordinator and National Park champion.
- Victoria Evans, Philadelphia, Pa. – Active grandmother and employee of the USDA Forest Service.
- Vi Yeboah, Chicago, Ill. – Accountant, auditor, beach lover, and conservationist.
- Zoe Polk, San Francisco, Calif. – Outdoor enthusiast and human rights attorney.
About Outdoor Afro
Outdoor Afro is a social community that reconnects African-Americans with natural spaces and one another through recreational activities such as camping, hiking, biking, birding, fishing, gardening, skiing — and more! Outdoor Afro disrupts the false perception that black people do not have a relationship with nature, and works to shift the visual representation of who can connect with the outdoors. Outdoor Afro remembers black history in nature, leverages social media, and supports relevant local leadership to create interest communities, events, and partnerships that support diverse participation in the Great Outdoors.
For more information about the Outdoor Afro and its leadership, contact Rue Mapp (510) 913-6100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.