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An equity consultant discusses how we might undo stereotypes and truly diversify When I arrived on Ohio University’s campus as a freshman 12 years ago, the Appalachian mountain range was a visual feast. I was immediately drawn to the trails. But while out, I would only occasionally pass another Black or brown person. In subsequent years, I would learn that this was the way of the outdoors—even when I was hiking in good company, that company was most often white. After I graduated, I found myself hopping mountain towns, which, despite changing altitudes, elevation, and landscapes, remained otherwise as undiversified as those first trails I trekked. The current climate, marked by protests and collective demand for racial and socioeconomic equality, has me reflecting on the outdoor/adventure sector’s relationship to inclusion. We do not often equate nature with sociopolitical structures, but as all of America and much of the world reckon with a shift in perspective, we must reexamine that space where we’re all, theoretically at least, most welcome. As an outdoor enthusiast and diversity and equity consultant, I’m especially interested in two aspects: first, in changing the narrative about who gets to represent the outdoors, which I do by […]

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