Diversity hasn’t exactly been a strong point in the outdoors industry. But people of color (POC) outdoor clubs and groups are working hard to make sure that changes. Even in a COVID-19 world, these organizations are encouraging American people of color to get into nature.
Nurturing Appreciation of Beautiful Outdoor Places
According to the National Park Service, only 10 percent of Latinos and 7 percent of Black Americans experience America’s outdoor treasures. The U.S. Forest Service reports similar visitation numbers:
Blacks or African Americans, who make up about 13 percent of the U.S. population, accounted for about 1 percent of national forest visits in 2010. Hispanics or Latinos, who make up about 17 percent of the U.S. population, accounted for less than 7 percent.” — Recreating in color: Promoting ethnic diversity in public lands
Why outdoor groups for people of color (POC) are important.
Not everyone grows up camping, hiking and playing outside. POC outdoor groups build links to nature. They are an important stepping stone into the mental and physical benefits of outdoor recreation. And when more people appreciate beautiful, wild, places, those special places are valued and protected.
America’s Outdoor Destinations Depend on Diverse People
Whatever your ethnic heritage or race, please support these PC outdoor clubs and organizations. You can inspire people of color to camp, RV, hike, fish and do other outdoorsy activities. Their enjoyment is vital for our country. A long list of POC outdoor clubs and groups for multi-cultural RVers are working hard right now. Help make sure visitors to America’s outdoor recreation destinations represent the country’s population as a whole.
A Short List of POC Outdoor Clubs and Groups
Support the work of people of color outdoor clubs and groups. When you do, you support special places everyone likes to go RVing. Get started with this short list of national organizations. If I missed your favorites, comment below and I will add them to this list.
Outdoor Afro is the nation’s biggest network to celebrate and inspire black connections and leadership in nature. The group has about 80 leaders in 30 states from around the country. They connect thousands of people to outdoor experiences and conservation.
Brown People Camping
This group was founded by Ambreen Tariq, a a South Asian, Muslim-American, immigrant woman. @BrownPeopleCamping is a social media initiative. It highlights personal narratives and digital storytelling. Their goal? To promote greater diversity in public lands and the outdoors community.
National African American RVers Association
With national and regional rallies around the US, the North Carolina-based NAARVA organizes family-friendly RV gatherings and activities. The group promotes a clean, safe environment for black RV enthusiasts who love the outdoors to have fun building life-long lasting friendships.
Native Women’s Wilderness
The Boulder, Colorado group brings Native women together. They share stories, support each other, and learn from one another. Together, they explore and celebrate the wilderness and native lands. Native Women’s Wilderness was founded by Jaylyn Gough, a member of the Diné (Navajo) Tribe in New Mexico.
Soul Trak Outdoors
This D.C. based nonprofit connects communities of color to outdoor spaces. They are also building a coalition of diverse outdoor leaders. The group has programs for youth, college students and adults. Soul Trak Outdoors hosts group outings where participants hike, paddle, climb, and zipline. You can support their fun gatherings that promote outdoor learning and leadership.
Outdoor Asian is a group of Asian & Pacific Islanders (API) who love the outdoors. Trips, outings and workshops inspire Asians to get into nature. Along the way, members share stories and histories of their communities. Together they reflect on relationships with ecology and nature.
Brown Folks Fishing
Brown Folks Fishing is a full-fledged national organization with over 30,000 fans and followers. The group is committed to diversity in American fishing. Through their Angling for All Pledge Campaign, the group raises awareness, and builds scholarships for new anglers. BFF is creating local projects in fishing recreation and conservation improvements.
Latino Outdoors is creating a world where all Latino communities can enjoy nature as a safe, inclusive, and welcoming place. Group outings and events are held regularly. The gatherings make the outdoors a place to share and celebrate stories, knowledge, and culture.
Black RVer Facebook Groups
Facebook is a popular place for people of color outdoor clubs and groups. Some of the most active are these active RV groups for black people:
Black RVers, a new but growing community for nomadic black people who full-time or part-time. Enjoy the RV life style in all types of RVs for all types of adventures.
Black People Camp Too, seeks to connect like minded Black Campers to share experiences good or bad. Suggest great places to go and not so great places. Currently over 3,000 members are asking questions and sharing pictures of RV destinations. Create nomadic friendships across the country.
African-American’s That RV & Camp (AARVC), a group with over 2,300 members sharing information and experiences in the RV lifestyle.
Are you are a person of color? Please don’t keep your love for the outdoors all to yourself. It’s time to your story. Inspire people of color to get outside. Comment below and tell us about your favorite POC clubs, groups and camping tips. We want to hear about it.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.
Why does it matter if they are POC? I don’t think any of us would not let someone join us just because they were a person of color. We need to stop splitting people based on color. We are all brothers and sisters. Never even occurred to me to exclude anyone based on skin color. It just doesn’t come up anywhere in my every day life.
When groups are marginalized and systematically denied access to Societal institutions, they tend to set up their own alternative options. This is apparent to anyone who truly cares about building an inclusive Society. As younger generations are more integrated and introduced to a more diversified population they slowly break down these barriers. For me, way too slowly but we’re headed in the right direction.
I don’t think that’s true. I have never run into that issue. I am a minority in CA. I have run into anti white stuff recently. A LOT. Mostly due to political climate, but in itself that is wrong too. There shouldn’t be any groups that wouldn’t let someone else in based on race. That’s how you sow division in this country, and you don’t need more if it now.
I am a little confused ? Was somebody stopping “people of color”, whatever that means, from going camping ? And how does splitting people into ethnic groups advance inclusiveness ? Is this story part of the new “My P.C. halo is shinier than yours bandwagon ? My younger years were spent as a very small minority, often viewed with suspicion, but our parents took my brother and I camping and exploring all the time and nobody ever tried to stop us out in the boonies.
Is white a color? I’m a person could I join these groups? I always enjoy the outdoors with other people, it’s fun and good for me.
Thanks for encouraging more Division in this country
Not possible to just have Americans rv’ing?
Dan Schreiner says
I always considered RVing as an outdoor activity for all Americans. It is sad that some feel they have to establish organizations based on skin color. To me, that is very racist. Until we all stop doing that we will never end racism.
Robert E Wallace says
Why is color always part of the equation. I see people of all races and nationalities as we travel in our toy hauler – 16k miles last year. Other than Alaska we’ve done most of the national parks. Why can’t they just be outdoors folks – hikers, bikers, campers, 4x4s, etc. This only promotes cliques and does very little to promote unity
Annabelle Hammer says
Thank you very much for this article. My husband and I are retired and 3 years ago bought an RV. When my kids were growing up, we rented RVs just to see if we would like it. I am Asian and my husband is white. I don’t see a lot of Asians RVing. As it turned out, my kids love the outdoors and moved out west from the Washington DC area to Colorado, Utah and Oregon. My daughter is a rock-climber in Colorado and wants to find other female minority climbers with whom to network. My son is a backpacker, hunter and fisherman and I think he would be interested in some of these groups. I will definitely forward them this article!
Cathie Leslie says
unlikely hikers is another group that should be added to this article. https://jennybruso.com/unlikelyhikers/
Annabelle Hammer, why do you look for other minorities to climb with? Is it a language barrier? I was just curious because I climb too and I had never even thought about race when I am out climbing or in my RV boondocking. Just curious, not trying to slam anyone. I had just found this article to be weird because in the RV community I had never run into anyone anywhere where they made color an issue on whether or not they can join us. In quartzsite, AZ we run into a lot of POC and they are just as welcome to our group as anyone else. We have quite a few POC that we travel with too. That’s why I was kind of surprised, this topic never comes up in our everyday life, and the POC in our group are our brothers and sisters. We all take care of each other..
Pamela SLAUGHTER says
People of Color Outdoors in Portland, OR is a very active, healing and educational group for BIPOC.
Here’s an article about POCO: https://www.oregonmetro.gov/news/reclaiming-nature-people-color