Trails for everyone, forever

Home Our Work Trails for Everyone Learn More About Racial and Social Justice

Learn More About Racial and Social Justice

At Washington Trails Association, we are committed to trails for everyone, forever. We have committed ourselves to work toward a more just and equitable future — in the outdoor community and the broader society. And we know change starts at home. We are committed to educating ourselves and we hope you’ll join us on that journey as well.

Listening to voices beyond your usual circle is a good first step toward educating yourself on the history of racial violence and racist systems in our country. Below is a set of partners, organizations and resources that have been recommended to us — we encourage you to explore this work further. In addition to learning, please consider giving your time and resources to support the important work these organizations are doing to create a more just and equitable world.

Organizations working for racial justice

There are a wide variety of Black- and other POC-led organizations pushing for racial justice and speaking out against racism both in general and in the outdoors specifically. We have provided a few examples below in an effort to highlight a range of perspectives and voices on these issues.  

NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS 

  • Black Lives Matter: Global movement whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and end state-sanctioned violence against Black people. 
  • Campaign Zero: Nonprofit providing research-based policy solutions at the federal, state and local levels to reduce police violence nationwide. 
  • Color of Change: America’s largest online racial justice organization leading national and local campaigns that research systems of inequality, build power for Black communities and advance social justice.
  • Southern Poverty Law Center: Nonprofit dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. 

LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS 

  • Black Lives Matter Seattle-King Co.: Seattle-based chapter of national Black Lives Matter movement. They are a social advocacy organization fighting for the protection and liberation of Black Life through advocacy and direct action.
  • Got Green: A South Seattle-based grassroots organization led by people of color and low-income people that organizes for environmental, racial and economic justice. Got Green cultivates multi-generational community leaders to be central voices in the Green Movement in order to ensure that the benefits of the green movement and green economy (green jobs, healthy food, energy efficient & healthy homes, public transit) reach low-income communities and communities of color.
  • King County Equity Now Coalition: A coalition of long-standing, accountable, Black-led community-based organizations in King County fighting to achieve equity in Seattle’s Martin Luther King County. 
  • South Seattle Emerald: A platform that authentically depicts the dynamic voices, culture, arts, ideas and businesses that fall within South Seattle’s borders

ORGANIZATIONS FOCUSED ON ANTI-RACISM AND THE OUTDOORS

  • The Avarna Group: DEI consultant for outdoor orgs with free resources anyone can utilize. Especially interesting for educators or anyone that leads groups into the outdoors. 
  • Green 2.0: Formerly known as the Green Diversity Initiative, this group works to develop a powerful, winning environmental movement grounded in equity and inclusion through data transparency, movement tracking, public attention and leadership development.
  • Outdoor Industry CEO Diversity Pledge: Connecting leading outdoor brands with inclusion advocates to advance representation for people of color across the industry.  Includes a recently launched search page for minority job seekers looking for employment in the outdoor and travel industries here
  • PGM ONE - Black Joy Fund: Direct-giving fund organized by People of the Global Majority in the Outdoors, Nature and Environment (PGM ONE) that provides resources that “contribute to the joy, dreams, wellness and imagination of Black folks”.  
  • Pedal 2 the People: Coalition of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color working to make the outdoors and cycling more equitable and inclusive.
  • Major Taylor Project: After school bicycling clubs that help to empower youth in underserved neighborhoods in central and south King County and Pierce County.
  • Melanin Basecamp: Black-founded and led nonprofit devoted to increasing ethnic minority and LGBTQ+ participation in the outdoors
  • Youth Outside: Oakland-base organization devoted to ensuring that the lived experience of all youth is honored as part of the outdoor experience. Youth Outside provides grantmaking, capacity building, and training to promote healthy lives and inspire future champions of the planet.

OTHER ORGANIZATIONS WORKING AGAINST RACIAL VIOLENCE OR TOWARDS SOCIAL JUSTICE

  • Lead to Life: Atlanta and Oakland-based organization that transforms weapons into shovels for tree planting ceremonies at sites that have been impacted by violence or that carry spiritual significance for communities that have been impacted by violence.
  • Transgender Law Center's Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project: Effort to build and center the power of Black LGBTQIA+ migrants through community-building, political education, creating access to direct services and organizing across borders. 

EXPANDING THE NARRATIVE — AMPLIFYING DIVERSE VOICES IN THE OUTDOORS SPACE

  • Climbers of Color: Pacific Northwest based climbing community focused on creating leaders of color in mountaineering and climbing
  • Get Out, Stay Out / Vamos Afuera: Indigenous youth-led nonprofit helping youth leaders reconnect to the outdoors through culturally equitable outdoor programming
  • Indigenous Women Hike: Instagram account featuring stories and perspectives from Indigenous women hikers 
  • Native Womens Wilderness: A gathering place to share stories, to learn, and to support other Native Womxn
  • Outside Voices Podcast: Podcast featuring stories from Black, Indigenous and People of Color, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ folk and others who #RedefineOutdoorsy
  • Queer Nature: Queer-run nature education and ancestral skills program serving the LGBTQ2+ community in Western Washington
  • She_colorsnature: Instagram account focused on building community and increasing representation for women of color
  • Unlikely Hikers: Instagram account featuring and stories about diversity, community, anti-racism and body liberation outdoors

 ANTI-RACISM RESOURCES AND MATERIALS