Seven-member advocate group will work with Backcountry to engage, support and welcome underrepresented and underserved communities
Backcountry, the premier specialty retailer and manufacturer of outdoor gear and apparel, announces the launch of its new Breaking Trail Program. The program consists of a team of seven Trailbreakers— allies and outdoor leaders who drive meaningful conversation and enact positive changes in the outdoor industry. The new program is one of the steps Backcountry is taking in its commitment to foster an inclusive, safe and welcoming outdoor community for everyone.
Backcountry is launching the Breaking Trail Program in April with monthly features on each advocate and their organization throughout the year. The advocate group includes the following Trailbreakers:
- José Gonzaléz – diversity educator, athlete and founder ofLatino Outdoors
- Ron Griswell– advocate, educator and founder of HBCUs Outside
- Juju Milay – athlete and founder ofColour the Trails
- Eliot Jackson – MTB athlete, presenter and co-founder of Grow Cycling Foundation
- Jaylyn Gough – photographer and founder of Native Women’s Wilderness
- Cali Wolf – ER nurse and Coordinating Director of Native Women’s Wilderness
- Kareemah Batts – diversity advocate, cancer survivor and founder of Adaptive Climb Group
“Backcountry is showing the outdoor industry what’s important to them and what should be important to all of us who care about the outdoors,” says Griswell. “A large part of my outdoor journey is tied to Backcountry, as they were the first major brand to reach out and start a partnership. They took a chance on me as an outdoor enthusiast and have been an incredible partner.”
The Breaking Trail Program came to fruition after Pattie Gonia, the drag persona of outdoor photographer, Wyn Wiley and the world’s first backpacking queen, approached Backcountry about providing long-term, sustainable support to everyone in the outdoor community. Wiley will provide behind-the-scenes support to the program as a professional photographer.
“It’s a beautiful chance to get to align my passion of photography with my passion of building community in the outdoors, and I’m so excited for more of the outdoor community to be introduced to each of these incredible people,” says Wiley. “I’m proud of Backcountry for not just talking the talk but also walking the walk, saying they believe diversity in the outdoors matters and following through with action, allyship and direct financial support for the advocates as they create community for diverse outdoorists.”
Backcountry will provide support for the work and mission of each advocate and their non-profits during the year-long Breaking Trail initiative. Backcountry will share the Trailbreakers’ stories online and host community-building and service events, as well as host a summit later this year.
For more information about Backcountry’s Breaking Trail Program, please visit: backcountry.com/sc/backcountry-advocate-program
From the one-on-one expertise of our Gearheads to our epic selection of the best gear, apparel, and accessories in style and performance, Backcountry has been a leading outdoor retailer since 1996. Dialing in your gear closet, exploring your backcountry, recharging with après—Backcountry elevates the entire outdoor experience. In 2018, Backcountry began building its own Gearhead-inspired products; the fast-growing Built By Backcountry ski, MTB, climb, hike, fly fish, and après lines include collabs with brands like GORE-TEX Technology, Burton, and Simms. Seek it, find it, send it—the Goat takes you further.