I’m Mina, an active Coda Community Champion and past presenter at Coda’s NYC
Five years ago, I wrapped-up a beach camping trip in Montauk, NY (just over 100 miles outside of New York City) in which I didn’t encounter a single Black person. That trip would be the catalyst that led me to founding
in the fall of 2015ーits was the straw for the proverbial camel. The cumulative effect of these numerous minor infractions over many years had left scars. I’d had it! I was tired of
being one of the only Black people while outdoors in nature, exploring or adventuring, and I resolved then and there to create more opportunities for black people to be in nature.
To see the bigger picture I need you to understand a few things. As far as black people and the outdoors, I should have been a statistic or followed the status quo of “no, black people don’t do that”. I’m not wealthy by any means, I didn’t even discover the outdoors until I was in collegeーnever even realized it was an option. My family was afraid for me because of this new affinity, and BOA is a bootstrapped company.
Yet despite all this, since launching our organization in October 2015, we’ve:
Reached over 3,000 individuals
Taught over 140 people how to rock climb
Taught over 130 people how to ski or snowboard
Taught over 40 people how to swim
Taught over 40 people how to surf
Taught people to Kayak, build a tent, sit in silence, realize their greater potential, share philosophies over a campfire, and the list goes on and on.
We’re proud of our reach, but realize we’re just getting started!
In a sea of 100 outdoor and adventure enthusiasts, 5% might be Black or People of Color if we’re lucky
. It’s a lonely experience. I know my team and I are not the only ones who get turned on by the scent of firewood or are transported by breathing deeply outdoors (Your backyard does not count 🤦🏾♀️).
As more and more people in our nation educate themselves and join in vital conversations about systemic racial injustice and inequality (welcome!), our mission
to expose Black & Brown people to the healing power of nature & the outdoors, enrich lives, create community, care for Gaia and take part in some kick-ass adventures
feels more vital than ever.
Black Outdoor Adventurer’s main mission is to expose black & brown people to the healing power of nature & the outdoors, enrich lives, create community, care for Gaia and take part in some kick-ass adventures!
My goal with this series is first to help Black & Brown people find us and connect to our mission, and secondly to help allies and others learn more about the barriers preventing diversity in the outdoor adventure spaceーand how you can begin to make a difference.