The Weekly - July 7, 2020 - 7

A Black People
Hike group at Dr.
Edmund A. Babler
Memorial State
Park, Missouri


#blackhikersweek is here to demystify and educate everyone
who thinks hiking isn't for people of color.

F R O M TO P : D E B B I E N JA I , U S F W S , CO U R T E SY N E E D P I X

"It's time for Black families to intentionally occupy spaces
[where] we aren't traditionally seen," shared Zenovia Stephens,
also known as @blackadventurecrew and one of the founders
of Black Hikers Week, in an Instagram post about the digital
event that launched June 22 to 27. Thousands of participants
joined the event, posting photos of themselves enjoying the
outdoors, along with recollections of what experiencing the
outdoors means to them. The movement was started on Instagram and spearheaded by Stephens (who also runs @blackkidsdohike) alongside outdoor enthusiasts Debbie Njai and
Nailah Blades.
Black Hikers Week's core goal is to provide representation of Black joy and to encourage others to get outside, but,
moreover, to really expose children to the beauties of nature.
"We don't know what we don't know, and, oftentimes, we just
need to see someone else that looks like us to make things
feel doable and safe and real," wrote Blades on her Instagram
account @wecoloroutside.
The Black Hikers Week founders feel the inclusion of Black
and indigenous people is essential to the survival of the outdoor industry. "Change has to happen. With the Black Lives
Matter movement, conversations are opening up," says Njai,
founder of @blackpeoplewhohike. "There are several barriers
to this: lack of knowledge, lack of resources, lack of safe spaces,
and feeling like you don't belong. We can't break through these
barriers by ourselves. We need our white counterparts to open
up these resources for us." -Christian Osborne


Major outdoor brands boycott Facebook advertising in
response to poor moderation
of racist posts.
The hashtag #StopHateForProfit has begun to show
up in response to the hate
speech that has been allowed
to go unchallenged by the
gatekeepers of Facebook. In

support of this campaign, Patagonia, REI, The North Face,
and others have joined civil
rights organizations in calling
for Facebook to moderate its
content and stop the spread of
dangerous propaganda. The
brands have announced an advertising boycott of Facebook
and Instagram in July.
Racist content and political
misinformation continue to
be shared widely and remain


Audubon seeks funding for the EPA to help underserved
communities that could be hit hard by irresponsible recovery.
The National Audubon Society is actively campaigning for
congress to fund the EPA. The list of demands includes reducing pollution in underserved communities. According to, President Trump labeled the current economic
situation a national emergency and issued an executive order
instructing federal agencies to "waive environmental protection
standards and reviews" for projects that would help the economy. It directed them to deliver, within 30 days, a list of projects
they will fast-track.
The EPA contends environmental laws exist to protect humans and the environment from harm caused by industry. Expediting economic recovery will impact those who live closest
to polluting facilities and highways the hardest. An article in
Mother Jones reports findings from the National Academies of
Sciences that says, "African Americans and Latino American
populations are exposed to 56% and 63% more PM2.5 [particulate matter] than they produce through consumption and
daily activities" compared to white people, "who are exposed
to 17% less than they produce."
The Audubon Society asserts President Trump's executive
order could impact birds and
their habitat by rolling back
protections dealing with
power lines and highways.
Many fear fast-tracking infrastructure building will not only
negatively impact the bird
population, but it will also impede access by marginalized
communities. This comes at a
time when people of color-
due to COVID-19, Amy Cooper, and Black Birders Week-
are increasingly interested in
bird-watching. -Davelyn Hill

unmoderated by Facebook.
Case and point: The social
platform did not remove
President Trump's comments
about shooting looters. The
social media giant faces pressure to change its relationship to censorship or suffer
revenue loss. According to the
Associated Press, advertising makes up nearly half of
Facebook's total revenue for
the year. -D.H.


The Weekly - July 7, 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Weekly - July 7, 2020

The Weekly - July 7, 2020 - Cover1
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