This past week CorpsTHAT has taken a step back not in an act of silence but instead to work towards amplifying Black and Deaf Black voices while internally doing the work of unpacking our own personal privileges and re-educating ourselves on the events that are taking place in our country.
At CorpsTHAT, we recognize the oppression, racism, and murders that the Black community endures throughout the U.S. and the outdoor spaces. We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Inclusion has been at the core of CorpsTHAT’s values since it first was established in 2016. We are fully aware that there are racial power imbalances and systems of oppression within the outdoor recreation and conservation industry that have existed for a long time, especially in the United States.
Maya Angelou once said,
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Enough is enough. We still have a lot of work to do.
As an organization, we are re-committing to stand with the Black Deaf Community and use our platform to speak against, dismantle the injustices, and act as allies. We are taking this time to refocus and to continue to tirelessly educate our communities and create change towards an equitable society by setting up the following action plan.
In turn, we ask the Outdoor Community to recognize the intersectionality of our identities. The Deaf and Disability communities are made up of Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and white individuals. In our support of the Black community within the outdoors, please don’t neglect Black Deaf or Black Disabled people’s experiences.
We, at CorpsTHAT, recognize that if we are going to recreate, work and explore in the outdoors, we need to do our research, educate ourselves and understand how we are benefiting from white supremacy and privilege, and holding space for Black and Deaf Black community in the outdoors. We have compiled a resource page, including articles, books, films, and a list of BIPOC outdoor organizations on our website.
In solidarity with the Black Deaf Community,