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A Conversation about Resilience

BIPOC panelists weigh in on meaningful experiences with the outdoors.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

We're committed to telling beautiful, important stories that elevate athletes and leaders from traditionally marginalized communities who challenge the antiquated concepts of belonging in the outdoors. 

Each film in our series is presented and sponsored by industry partners that share our vision for a more inclusive outdoors, where everyone can enjoy their own connection with nature. 

Our film, Resilience, features Lesford Duncan & Outdoor Outreach team members as they strive to connect youth with the transformative power of the outdoors and work to foster our industry's next generation of leaders and advocates. 

The message Resilience carries is so powerful that we knew we wanted to continue the conversation, so we hosted a virtual round-table discussion with BIPOC leaders from the Outbound Collective film series.

Check out the entire panel discussion here.

We'd love for you to enjoy the entire panel discussion, and here were a few illuminating thoughts from each panelist.

Amanda Machado

Panel Moderator, writer and facilitator

On the necessity for shining light on the challenges people of color face in the outdoors.

"I'm noticing more and more representation each year of people of color in the outdoors, but every time I witness it in film, it feels necessary all over again. It feels incredibly healing. I can't get enough of it." 

Lesford Duncan

Senior Director of Programs, Outdoor Research 

On his first experience of feeling included or represented in the outdoors.

"It wasn't until my adult life when I moved out to California that I fell in love with the mountains and achieving high peaks in connection with an organization called Outdoor Afro that had a local chapter in Los Angeles. We'd go out on hikes and I realized there were more people like me in the outdoors." 

Martha Garcia

Global Director, Brand Creative and Communications, HOKA ONE

On healing and critical experiences that keep you showing up to do this work.

"Any time I go on a hike with my six year old daughter and she sees other kids of color out there hiking, especially in the Los Angeles area, it continues to inspire me to move forward in this work."

Teresa Baker 

Founder, Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge

On normalizing people of color in the outdoors.

"This is a natural way of being for people of color, so as we continue to move forward, my hope is that we continue to show these stories and they not be shining examples, but rather the norm." 

José González

Founder, Latino Outdoors

On normalizing for this generation that mental healthcare is a part of holistic wellbeing.

"Shifting this framework has been critical, so we can ask ourselves what is important -- what are the missing components that I can normalize in terms of 'this is what taking care of myself means'? And then we can ask 'what does the outdoors mean as a space and platform to take care of ourselves'."

Lexus Morrow

Program Intern, Outdoor Outreach

On the importance of mental health connection for young people of color in the outdoors.

"My mental health improved every time I went to the outdoors, even if it was walking to a park and sitting under a tree. Breathing fresh air, seeing the leaves, and feeling the grass. So I think what the outdoor industry misses is that when you go outdoors, just walking outside can bring so much joy, peace and happiness that it radiates throughout your whole body. It heals things that even medicine or therapy can't fix."

Tatiana Butte

Outdoor Equity Advocate, Outdoor Outreach

On helping children of color to feel brave and enjoy the outdoors.

"Listen to their concerns. Listen to what they do want to do outside. If they don't want to participate, nudge a little bit. Open up to them and connect on something they're interested in. Be a little vulnerable, so they can be vulnerable with you. It's all about baby steps."

See the films:

Resilience - an #EveryoneOutside Film

Resilience: Tatiana Butte | Outdoor Outreach

Resilience: Lexus Morrow | Outdoor Outreach

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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