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To the WRMC community,  

Our hearts are heavy. Many in our community are experiencing tremendous pain and grief. Over the last few months, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Pop, Sean Reed, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, George Floyd and David McAtee have made headlines and these are just the most recent in a long line of similar tragedies. These acts of brutality are the products of a system that, for centuries, has worked to dehumanize Black lives. 

The WRMC Steering Committee stands in support and solidarity with Black Lives and with those protesting racism, injustice and state-sanctioned violence. This pledge cannot be a passive one. It is critical for white people and beneficiaries of dominant culture in the outdoor community to examine the racial inequities inherent in our industry, and to interrogate the ways in which we uphold white supremacy and privilege, in all their forms. 

We at the WRMC are committed to listening carefully, and without defensiveness, so that we can support much-needed change. We acknowledge we have a long way to go to demonstrate this commitment through action, and have plenty of room for improvement and growth. We’ll be sharing more about this year’s conference in the coming days, but here are two small steps we’re taking now:

  1. Earlier this year, the Steering Committee began working on a 3-5 year strategic justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion plan to improve access to and participation in the WRMC for marginalized communities. 
  2. Starting in 2021, we will award the WRMC Exhibitor Scholarship funds (previously awarded to organizations working in the local area of each year’s WRMC venue) to outdoor organizations focused on racial justice and equity work.

In grief and solidarity, 
The WRMC Steering Committee

One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an anti-racist. There is no in-between safe space of 'not racist’.” – Dr. Ibram X. Kendi


If you are looking for additional ways to support racial equity, here are some of the organizations that we (individual members of the Steering Committee and/or our organizations) have chosen to support: Brown Girls Climb, the Equal Justice Initiative, Latino Outdoors, the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), Outdoor Afro, Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK), National Equity Project, PGM ONE, PGM ONE Black Joy Fund, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Youth Outside.

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