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News for January 20, 2022

Together Outdoors Announces Membership, Advisory & Governance Councils

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A collaborative effort is in progress in the outdoor industry to devise actions for organizations, recreation spots, and outdoor enthusiasts to make meaningful efforts to draw in people to embrace, accept, and encourage inclusiveness, a report said.

One of the initiatives that are being implemented to support justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion (JEDI/DEI) is developing an educational program covering topics like the history of access, media and marketing, retention and recruitment, grants/partnerships, and accountability.

The initiative, which is led by Together Outdoors, a coalition formed within the outdoor industry, also seeks to create the best practices and branding anchored on the Together Outdoors logo to show businesses, spaces, and locations working towards creating safe and enjoyable outdoor experiences for everyone. This effort is to mainly increase outdoor recreation participation of underrepresented groups by establishing an inclusive and informed organization and fields such as marinas, campgrounds, businesses, and trailheads.

“It is crucial for the outdoor industry to acknowledge the years of labor by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and other underrepresented communities who have driven the movement to make the outdoors a more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive space,” said Gerry Seavo James, coalition lead for Together Outdoors. “Empowered by the leadership, passion, and experiences of our newly formed advisory and governance councils, we strive to build upon those efforts within the industry and greater outdoor community.”

The effort also will develop:

  • Searchable Database: Together Outdoors aims to produce a high-quality searchable database for organizations and individuals who wish to advance their knowledge related to recruiting, retaining, and reactivating outdoor participants, regardless of their level of pre-existing knowledge.
  • Measurement: Collecting and publishing field research to measure the impact of the Together Outdoors education series and collective education network on a coalition member’s organizational practices (e.g. around workforce development, advertising, vendor selection, etc.) and how underrepresented groups experience the outdoors.
  • Improved Field Impacts: Reduced concerns of underrepresented participants that outdoor recreation at certain field locations is unsafe, exclusive, or discriminatory

To accomplish all of this Together Outdoors will work with the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable’s advisory and governance council of established leaders who represent affinity groups, NGOs, public and private-sector organizations, and academic interests.

Together Outdoors on Wednesday announced its advisory and governance councils. These established leaders that represent affinity groups such as NGOs, public and private sector organizations, as well as academic interests will collaborate with TO as it comes up with initiatives for recreational places, organizations, and outdoor enthusiasts on ways they can make meaningful changes to encourage, welcome and promote the inclusion of all people.

TO has also announced that the growing coalition now has more than 70 people from the recreational bracket, including hiking, boating, off-roading, RVing, off-roading, and lots more.

TO’s advisory council members have deep experience in advancing JEDI/DEI in the outdoor community. They will provide recommendations to the TO team on programming and initiatives, in addition to helping facilitate educational sessions and workshops for the coalition. Members include:

  • Ambreen Tariq, Founder, Brown People Camping
  • Briana Blanchard, Strategic Partnerships Manager, Access Fund
  • Crystal Egli, Co-Founder, Inclusive Journeys
  • Jahmicah Dawes, Owner, Slim Pickins Outfitters
  • Dr. Jose Gonzales, Assistant Professor in Recreation and Tourism, Cal State University-Northridge
  • Lydia Parker, Founder, Hunters of Color
  • Syren Nagakyrie, Founder, Disabled Hikers
  • Yvonne Leow, Founder, Bewilder

TO’s governance council includes leaders in business, NGO, and public-sector organizations related to advancing outdoor recreation in the United States. They will assist ORR with providing direction for TO’s mission and values, program design, communications, fundraising, partnerships, and access. Members include:

  • Bob Ratcliffe, Chief of Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Programs, National Park Service
  • Dan West, Director of Public Policy, Rivian 
  • Danica Carey, Director of Marketing Operations, Seirus Innovation
  • Dr. Jose Gonzales, Assistant Professor in Recreation and Tourism, Cal State University-Northridge
  • Jil Littlejohn Bostick, Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Winnebago Industries,
  • Kevin Williams, Vice President of Marketing, National Marine Manufacturers Association
  • Mary Mitsos, President and CEO, National Forest Foundation
  • Michal Rosenoer, Government and Community Relations Manager, Hipcamp
  • Mollie Hansen, Chief Marketing Officer, Airstream
  • Renee Jones, Senior Director of Marketing, THOR Industries

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