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,

CorpsTHAT Team

CorpsTHAT's Action Plan:

Education:

  • The outdoor industry – share or host at least one event, webinar, or presentation on the Black and Black Deaf Outdoor experience per month
  • CorpsTHAT’s volunteer staff participate in Black Outdoor Trainings and courses at least once a year
  • CorpsTHAT programs include Environmental Justice and Anti-racism teachings and lessons into our educational curriculum

ASL Access:

  • Build Interpreter of Color and Deaf BIPOC Outdoor experts Database
  • Hire IOC interpreters for our events, workshops, and meetings

 

Supporting the Black Deaf Outdoor Community:

  • Contract with Black Deaf outdoor experts and Black Deaf-owned businesses
  • Provide a platform for Black Deaf outdoor experts and enthusiasts on our website and social media pages
    • Share Black Deaf Outdoor experience, stories and expertise
  • Advocate for captioning and ASL access to Black outdoor events and organizations

Operational:

  • Have the majority of our board be made up of members who identify as BIPOC 
  • Adopt Environmental Justice Principles with the emphasis of Deaf and Hard of Hearing inclusion
    • Translate them into ASL and Post on website
  • Sign The Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge, and in signing the pledge commit to:
    • Hiring and supporting a diverse workforce and executive leadership
    • Present representative marketing and advertising in our media
    • Engage and support broadly representative ambassador and athlete teams
    • Sharing our experiences with other leading brands and organizations

Action Plan for Outdoor Organizations:

  • Please CAPTION and provide a TRANSCRIPT for all of your films, videos, and podcasts. Captioning and transcripts provide access to all Deaf, Hard of Hearing and, DeafBlind people, especially Deaf BIPOCs.
  • Please include Image Descriptions on all your photos so that our DeafBlind and Blind community can have access to your media as well
  • Amplify the voices of Black Deaf or Disabled individuals and organizations that recreate and work in the outdoors
  • Provide qualified ASL interpreters at your events, presentations and conferences.
    • Please feel free to contact CorpsTHAT to assist you in finding qualified outdoor interpreters

Action Plan for Deaf Allies:

Here is a list of Black Outdoor Organizations and Anti-Racism Resources. We will continue to update the list, please email us at info@corpsthat.org if you see anything missing from the list:

Resources (books, articles, etc.):

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