It’s no surprise that with new technologies and increased spending to make our homes more comfortable, we’ve become a society that spends more time indoors than any other time in history. Many times our lack of spending time outdoors affects our health and the health of our future generations.
I had the pleasure to talk with Rue Mapp , the Founder of Outdoor Afro, a organization whose mission supports reconnecting African-Americans with natural spaces and one another through recreational activities such as camping, hiking, biking, fishing, gardening, skiing — and more! Outdoor Afro uses social media to create interest communities, events, and to partner with regional and national organizations that support diverse participation in the Great Outdoors.
I found Outdoor Afro on Facebook after viewing a segment in 2010 after Oprah Winfrey had a segment on her show called Oprah and Gayle’s Yosemite Camping Adventure.
A Yosemite National Park ranger Shelton Johnson wrote Oprah because he’s concerned by the low number of African-Americans who visit the national parks each year. Out of the 280 million tourists who come, just 1 percent are African-American.
Speaking from my experience, the only time i’ve been camping was as a child at a sleep away camp, so I definitely fell into the 99% of African Americans that have never visited a National Park for camping.
As you’ll hear in the interview, Outdoor Afro’s overall mission isn’t only to get more African Americans to Camp, Ski and Hike but something as simple as taking a walk around the lake, gardening, or spending time at the local Farmers Market is encouraged as well.
Rue Mapp has been in involved in President Obama’s Conference on America’s Great Outdoors, as well as for First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. She’s fully committed to her passion of connecting African-Americans to the Outdoors. Hopefully after listening to the interview, you’ll find ways to incorporate more outdoor time in your everyday life.
Take a Listen!: Outdoor Afro Interview with Rue Mapp
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