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Melanin Base Camp

Diversity in the Outdoors

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Welcome to Melanin Base Camp: your home base for diversity in outdoor adventure sports. Our purpose is to inspire you with weekly content from Black, Latinx, Asian, Indigenous and Queer People of Color who love the outdoors. Join the movement and help us #diversifyoutdoors.

Whether you bike, climb, hike, or paddle, Melanin Base Camp is your own home too. Join us as we work together to increase representation and opportunities for people of color in outdoor adventure sports. Along the way we won’t shy away from sensitive topics (race and gender) but we’ll do so in a way that creates a safe space for people with marginalized identities. Join the movement and help us #diversifyoutdoors!

From founder, Danielle Williams: I founded Melanin Base Camp in February 2016 and Diversify Outdoors in January 2018 in order to increase ethnic minority and LGBTQ+ participation in the outdoors. There was only one problem with that. The more research I did the more I realized that we already surf, hike, climb, skydive, kayak—all the things I assumed people of color didn’t do. That was a good lesson to learn. I didn’t know because I had never seen any images of Senegalese surfers, queer Latinx climbers or Desi skydivers. I watched television but couldn’t recall a single U.S. outdoor retailer ad featuring an adventure athlete of color. So I assumed we didn’t exist. But I was wrong!

Anyone who has ever watched Chloe Kim nail back to back 1080s in the halfpipe or Dominique Miller noseriding off Queen’s Break knows that images are powerful. They influence the stories we tell about ourselves and the people we aspire to become. Melanin Base Camp is our story. We are strong, empowered and resilient. We care about our communities and we care about conserving public lands. We’re passing on our love of the outdoors to the next generation and we realize that representation matters.

So here’s our new goal—to increase the visibility of outdoorsy black, indigenous, people of color, to increase our representation in the media, advertising and in the stories we tell ourselves about the Outdoors.

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