The Weekly - June 9, 2020 - 6

Pulse
S U M M E R

THE

/

# W E A R E C O M M U N I T Y

Merrell hiking
ambassador Will
"Akuna" Robinson
(right) and
Dawn Potts

Greater
Accountability
The outdoor industry has risen to speak out
about racial injustice, but how is it making
outdoor spaces safer for Black people?
By James Edward Mills
ON MAY 11, COLLIN O'MARA,

executive director of the National Wildlife Federation, made
a statement following the death of
Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man killed
while on a run by two white men.
"We will not rest until all Americans
can safely enjoy the outdoors without fear of violence," he wrote. "None
of our work to secure cleaner air and
water matters when Black men and
women are dying in the streets."
Over the past weeks, as protests
have continued to sweep the nation, numerous outdoor industry

companies and environmental nonprofit organizations have also made
definitive statements to denounce
racism in light of the deaths of Arbery; 26-year-old Breonna Taylor,
who was shot by police in Louisville, Kentucky; George Floyd, who
died as the result of Minneapolis
police officer kneeling on his neck;
and countless other Black men and
women whose names we may never
know, who have been the victims of
systemic racism and violence.
Many in the outdoor space have
begun to understand that racism

6 THE WEEKLY / OUTDOOR RETAILER SUMMER 2020

and the violence that inevitably
follows are the direct results of
people being made to feel they do
not belong. If a Black man could
be hunted down and murdered
while jogging down a public street
through his own neighborhood in
broad daylight, how much more
vulnerable might he be while hiking
along a backcountry trail?
"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,"
says Lise Aangeenbrug, executive
director of the Outdoor Industry
Association. "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."
Those on the margins of society
have always been vulnerable.
Outdoor industry organizations are
starting to realize their indifference
to the plight of those with limited
resources or influence is putting
their safety at risk.
"People want to feel like their
voices are being heard, and, right
now, only a select few are. That's not
enough," says Teresa Baker, founder
of the Outdoor CEO Diversity
Pledge. "The time is now for the
outdoor industry to do away with
the current way of doing business
because it is only working for the
insiders. Those of us on the outside,
who keep this industry afloat, need
greater accountability from those
with the big titles."
Industry insiders are starting

to get it. They must be more than
merely "not racist." They must be
"anti-racist" and commit themselves
to the creation of practices that help
to mitigate systems of oppression
put deliberately in place to sow uncertainty, fear, and intimidation.
"We're working on a long-term
plan to positively impact the outdoor industry and will work with
and fund those advocating for systemic change and racial justice for
the Black community," says Chris
Hufnagell, global brand president
of Merrell Footwear. "We'll hold
ourselves accountable, and we must
band together as an industry for
change to happen."
The public lands and open spaces
where so many of us work and play
must be made free and open for
everyone to enjoy. Though outdoor
industry companies, senior executives, managers, and staff have not
explicitly contributed to the creation
of an environment that can be openly
hostile to Black people, they can work
proactively to build a better system
that is equitable and responsive to
the needs of those too often targeted
for racially motivated violence.
"The very visible fact that our
country has allowed this deeply
ingrained racial injustice to persist
demands that now-not tomorrow-we take personal action to
reverse this intolerable collective
consciousness," says Danica Carey,
director of marketing operations
at Seirus Innovation Accessories.
"We, as an encouraging community of outdoorists, must consciously
choose to make a difference."

CO U R T E SY M E R R E L L

H E A D L I N E S

2 0 2 0



The Weekly - June 9, 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Weekly - June 9, 2020

Contents
The Weekly - June 9, 2020 - Cover1
The Weekly - June 9, 2020 - Cover2
The Weekly - June 9, 2020 - Contents
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The Weekly - June 9, 2020 - 28
The Weekly - June 9, 2020 - Cover3
The Weekly - June 9, 2020 - Cover4
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