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Acknowledging the Barriers

An important part of BOA’s work is to dismantle the multifaceted structures, misperceptions, economic, generational, mental and financial barriers that exist both outside and inside the black community that prevents our ability to participate and/or inclusion and in outdoor activities.
Let’s try a quick exercise.
Click the 🤚 button for each of the statements below that apply to you:
I grew-up with a public green space or park within 10-15 minutes from my house
I have access to an automobile or reliable transportation to travel 50+ miles from my home
I learned how to ride a bike as a child
I owned a bike as a child
I own a bike now
I learned how to swim as a child
I learned how to ski or snowboard as a child
I had a full snowsuit (pants, jacket, gloves, hat, boots) as a child
I can afford a full snowsuit, or already own snow/ski gear
I can afford a $150 pair of hiking boots today, or already own hiking boots
I can afford a $35 national park visitor’s/parking permit today
I have paid time off in my job
I have taken a full, one week vacation in the past year
I have access to regular, routine healthcare
I have had a physical in the past year in which I was deemed fit for outdoor and/or recreational activity
I have at least 5 friends I could call to go on a hike or bike ride, and I trust they won’t flake on me
I feel that I can comfortably shop for outdoor equipment (bike, skis, boots, etc.) without being followed or judged by the staff at the store
I have seen professional athletes of my race in outdoor disciplines (biking, swimming, surfing, skiing, snowboarding, etc.)
I can participate in outdoor activities with a sense of feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance, or feared.
When I come upon others on a hiking trail or bike path, I am greeted with a friendly smile and not skepticism or wonder
I feel comfortable walking a local park trail or hiking trail alone
There are no rows in this table
As you might’ve guessed, each item for which you could say, “this applies to me,” represents a privileged experience. These are not all necessarily examples of white privilege as the phrase is commonly understood, but they are indicative of barriers that impact some people’s ability to experience nature and safely enjoy outdoor activities. While not everyone is in outdoor spaces, Black people are disproportionately signaled that they don’t belongーeven in public, urban spaces while or just .
For more resources on White Privilege, please or consider .
For more on Privilege and the Outdoors, please .
So, what can we do with these acknowledgements?

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