Recent weeks have proven that much can be accomplished when people band together for a common goal. From peaceful protests, rallies, and marches happening across the country to those coming together on social media to amplify melaninated voices; progress is happening. Within these successes was the brilliantly put together Black Birders Week. The event came on the heels of the Christian Cooper bird incident, which rightfully sparked outrage by the black community in general, as well as black outdoor enthusiasts.
After witnessing the power and pride experienced as a result of Black Birders Week, social media Influencers and members of the black hiking community Zenovia Stephens (Huntsville, AL), Debbie Njai (St. Louis, MO), and Nailah Blades Wylie (Sandy, UT) joined together to form Black Hikers Week.
Hiking is the act of taking a long and sometimes strenuous walk on a trail or path. As natural as it is, black faces have been underrepresented and almost completely left out from the images that portray those that enjoy nature. Stephens, Founder of @Blackkidsdohike, Njai, Founder of @Blackpeoplewhohike and Wylie Founder of @wecoloroutside already understanding and working separately on their individual platforms to present a different picture wanted to have a greater impact and increase their reach.
Black Hikers Week’s main goal is to highlight individuals and communities working to change the narrative by encouraging and empowering black people to get outdoors. By shining a spotlight on those already involved in this community, individuals on the outside will be inspired to do something new. BHW will also focus on various health aspects related to hiking and host a virtual town hall meeting addressing barriers Black Hikers face.
Despite being underrepresented in the outdoor space, there are well over 30 organizations across the nation that were created for black hikers by black hikers. During BHW Stephens, Njai and Wylie are calling for our leaders of the black outdoor community to come together to participate where their voices can be heard during Friday’s Livestream town hall.
Black Hikers Week will be held June 22 – June 27, 2020 on Instagram. You can join the #wehiketoo movement by following @blackpeoplewhohike and using the hashtag #blackhikersweek. Don’t miss out on the Town Hall Meeting which will be Livestreamed here on Friday June 26th from 7-9pm est.
Black Hikers Week was founded and curated by:
- Debbie Njai @blackpeoplewhohike
- Zenovia Stephens @blackkidswhohike @blackadventurecrew
- Nailah Blades Wylie @wecoloroutside
For additional information please email [email protected].