Silence is compliance.

The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor have continued to underscore what we know to be true about racism against black people in this country: it is ubiquitous, and it is deadly.
 
Justice begins with accountability and requires all of us commit to combating racism—individuals, community members, and organizations. It begins with acknowledging that there’s a problem. It begins with committing to being part of the solution. Systemic racism is woven into the fabric of our nation’s history and the injustice and pain caused by it is not something that can be eliminated overnight.
 
Our industry, like so many others, needs to take a hard look at itself and address its role in perpetuating the problem. Here at Parks Project, we have accepted the necessity of taking steps toward doing the work required to begin to live up to one of our founding principles: to leave this world better than we found it, especially for the people whose voices have not always been heard, represented, or championed.
 
This past week, we’ve thought deeply about the way we conduct business and have identified five ways we can begin to implement the kind of change we want to see.
 

Educating and Breaking the Silence

It is up to us to educate our community on the history and ongoing impact of systemic racism in the US, as well as in the parks and outdoor industry at large. We are developing plans of action to partner with other leaders in this space with the goal of making sure that the lands we love are spaces where people, especially people from the black community and other communities of color, feel empowered and safe to visit.

Focusing on People

We know that companies do not always look like the people they serve. We’re committing ourselves to hiring diverse talent because we know their voices are fundamental to our industry and to ensuring that consultants and contributors to Parks Project better reflect the diverse people who visit national parks.

Revisiting the Value Chain

We are looking at what vendors and suppliers we use, where our money is going, and thinking deeply about the steps we can take in how we incorporate black-owned businesses into our commercial operations.

Investing in Change

We have reached out to five organizations that serve the black community to provide them with grants to continue the essential work they do in creating change and opportunities for education and learning. We are currently in the process of solidifying these partnerships with black-owned businesses and will be updating this page to share the organizations as well as information about the vital work they are doing.

Assembling an Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion in the Outdoors

We are assembling an advisory council on diversity and inclusion in the outdoors to ensure that our business represents and amplifies the voices of people who have not been historically welcomed or encouraged to take part in the outdoors.

We look forward to sharing the progress we will be making in detail as the steps we are taking come to fruition. We appreciate the insights you’ve shared with us these past few days; if you have anything you’d like to share with our team, feel free to send us an email at info@parksproject.us.
 
Black Lives Matter.