The Wilderness Society

02/21/2024 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/22/2024 12:53

Black inclusion and acceptance in the outdoors, 60 years after the Civil Rights Act

Honor the Civil Rights Act's legacy by actively promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion in outdoor recreation.

The outdoors should be a space where everyone feels welcome, safe and empowered to connect with nature however they see fit. Despite that ideal, many Black communities experience significant obstacles to enjoying the outdoors fully-from limited access to green spaces, to fear of discrimination or harassment.

There's no better time than now to decisively knock down some more of those barriers. In 2024, we're marking the 60th anniversary of both the Civil Rights Act and the Wilderness Act-twin reminders that we can take major steps together to strengthen our common sense of community and enrich the resources we all share.

At the same time, it wasn't until 1945-in living memory-that national parks were even officially desegregated, a reminder that some of our most painful history isn't all that distant. We must confront these truths and redouble our efforts to create more inclusive and equitable outdoor experiences.