The recent police killing of George Floyd and countless instances of racism and racial violence against Black people are alarming and horrific. We know these events are not isolated and are part of a long history of systemic racism and injustice in our country and in the outdoors. People thriving outside is a core value for our industry and we know that racism, funding, and policies have often prevented equitable access and enjoyment of the outdoors. As the outdoor industry, we must immediately take action and increase our commitment to achieve racial justice, diversity, equity and inclusion in the outdoors, in our workplaces and across the country. As the association for the outdoor industry, we have a voice—and a corresponding responsibility to do more. We don’t have all of the answers and have listening and learning to do, but we must do better and start now. We need to admit that we are part of the problem. We must listen to, learn from and amplify the voices of our Black community leaders, friends and activists. We must take meaningful action. Statements of solidarity are important, but action is paramount. To start, OIA commits to do the following:
- LISTEN: At the executive level and on our board of directors, we can and will do better listening and learning. Together with Snowsports Industries America and Camber Outdoors, we are working together on how we will convene organizations that represent diverse backgrounds and organizations focused on diversity, equity and inclusion to listen and learn what more the outdoor industry can do. We will start this month and will have more to share on this very soon. We will report on our goals, action and progress and highlight outcomes at the January 2021 Outdoor + Snow Show.
- ADVOCATE: We will use our voices as individuals and as companies to call out racism in the outdoors, in our workplaces and in our lives. We have and will continue to advocate for policies and programs that do more to make the outdoors a safe, welcoming and equitable choice for everyone.
- HIRE: We commit to do better in hiring and recruiting people of color as employees in our companies as well as on our board of directors.
- DONATE: We are supporting the NAACP with a donation, and encourage our member companies to join us and give money to organizations that advance anti-racism.
- PROMOTE: We will use our platform and reach to amplify Black outdoor organizations and voices. We will continue to support the work of the Outdoor Foundation’s Thrive Outside Communities, which you can read about here.