Racial Equity Truthtellers: “If you don’t see me as Black, then you don’t see me.”

When it comes to conversations about racial equity, Kim Moore Bailey is more than comfortable – it’s her life’s work. Growing up as a child of Black NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) members, the CEO of Youth Outside has always celebrated her Blackness. “I’ve always been doing the work that I’m … Read more

Racial Equity in Outdoor Science and Environmental Education: Re-Establishing the Field with Intention

What if we returned from this pandemic with a deep and profound commitment to a new way of being? What would it look like if, instead of this crisis making our work towards equity slower and less important, it became an opportunity for the field to work towards equity faster and make that work a higher priority? What if equity and inclusion were built into every fiber of our reimagined and reopened organizations, considered in every new initiative so that “pausing” is not possible as it is simply how we go about each day? Read more

It’s the Little Things

Grow With Youth Outside

A few years ago, I asked my mother if she was surprised that I was engaged in this field. She said absolutely not… spending time outside had always been a part of my life. She loved being outside and, quite naturally, she passed this along to me and my sister.

She felt like the true planting of this seed of curiosity happened in our backyard one afternoon when I was around four years old. After pestering her for a cookie, I took it outside and immediately dropped it on our patio. From my position on the patio, I could see her face inside the house disappear and I thought, “I am in trouble.” Read more

Oakland, “Just Green Enough” is Not Enough!

Last May, I welcomed advocates from all over the world to the Children & Nature Network’s International Conference which was held right here in Oakland. In my speech, I challenged the attendees to “radically imagine what our movement can be: intentionally more equitable and inclusive. Let’s recognize the relationships that all cultures have with the … Read more

A New “Outdoors” Chapter in Black History

Last month, we celebrated Black History Month. I believe that Black History Month happens every month for me as I think about the shoulders that I stand on to engage in the work at the intersection of racial equity, inclusion and the outdoors. As the “official” month of Black History was underway, I found myself … Read more

New Year: A Time to Cry Out

New Year: A Time to Cry Out

The calendar tells us it is a new year. With the simple act of turning the page on a calendar, we both become aware of the passage of time and pin hope to the newness of the time.   As I sit in my own personal reflection, I find myself thinking about the sermon that … Read more

#DifficultTerrain: When Little Changes Are Huge

#DifficultTerrain: When Little Changes Are Huge

A few weeks ago, we held our fall event which showcased young leaders in the environmental and outdoor fields (Irwin Perez, Sofia Pablo-Hoshino and Valerie Lee) who shared their personal stories about how connecting with nature early on shaped their career choices. Valerie Lee was one of our panelists. She participated in our Rising Leaders … Read more

The Urgent Need to Show Up

The Urgent Need to Show Up

“When I have a little more time to clear my head I’m going to write a longer piece about being pulled over in the National Park while I was driving a van full of Black women down the mountain after experiencing a magical hike together. I’m going to tell you about the park police officer … Read more

#DifficultTerrain: Stories of Summer

#DifficultTerrain: Stories of Summer

Stories of Summer It’s time for young people to return to school and inevitably, they will be asked – by teachers and peers – about their summer. What did you do this summer? Tell me a story about your summer break…. Will those stories include meaningful experiences outside? Did these youth go for a hike, spend … Read more

Diversity – The Dangerous 9-Letter Umbrella

Diversity: The Dangerous 9-Letter Umbrella Diversity. This word is constantly used among the groups working in our space. Think about it. Calls for more diversity are everywhere. We need to increase diversity in the outdoors. We need more diverse staff in national parks. We need environmental groups to increase the diversity of their boards and … Read more