Why is diversity, equity, and inclusion important in outdoor recreation?

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Vincent Bowen
Vincent Bowen  replied:

Diversity, equity, and inclusion ("DEI") is important in every aspect of life. We gain insight, innovation, strength, and shared humanity from a variety of skills, experience, and perspectives. It's no coincidence the two largest economies in the US are also two of the most diverse, Los Angeles and New York City (Brookings Institute, March 2020, McKinsey & Company, February 2021)

Ownership, leadership and participation that reflects the rich diversity of our world will assure the dividends from outdoor engagement accrue to us all. The path to true equity will begin when people from all walks of life are connected to, and invested in protecting our planet and its precious natural resources.

Currently, Black, Latinx and Asian participants are significantly underrepresented in outdoor recreation participation but are the most enthusiastic and fastest growing participant groups (Outdoor Foundation, 2020). Active engagement of these communities will assure robust outdoor industry growth and future participation.

By actively implementing DEI initiatives in outdoor recreation, we can create and grow organizations and enterprises which will engage more skills and perspectives to solve our most pressing climate problems, build wealth in under-invested communities and create the diverse, equitable, sustainable future we ALL deserve.

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