We’ve been a bit quiet over here the past few weeks; not because our passion for radical social change and justice has subsided, but because true and lasting evolution is not going to metabolize, mature, and manifest exclusively behind the keyboard.
We can scream into the digital void: BLACK LIVES MATTER. We can write post after post about social justice. We can say their names and use the hashtags. But at the end of the day, it’s just social media, a series of one-dimensional, digital declarations on behalf of an entire, living, breathing, complex organization.
Despite the pitfalls of the digital realm, I do want to say it loud and clear: Here at AMI we are prepared to pivot in whatever way necessary to create a holistically inclusive and equitable organization, team, community, and industry. Anti-racism is more than just a marketing problem. Every nook and cranny needs to be evaluated: our programming, community development efforts, policies and procedures, recruiting, onboarding, ALL OF IT, needs to be thoroughly and regularly examined through a lens of equity and social justice.
If we are going to interrupt white supremacy, we have to interrupt the seemingly benign habits, values, beliefs, and actions that support it. This requires us to actively, humbly, and critically participate in anti-racism work across the spectrum of our nonprofit. And so, to move beyond declaration and into action, below are the strategies we will be implementing to dismantle white supremacy within our organization and beyond.
[In April 2019, we signed the Outdoor CEO Pledge. We are using the actions outlined there to frame much of our ongoing commitment.]
Here at AMI, we commit to:
- “Hire and support a diverse workforce and executive leadership.”
We commit to providing an intensive, professional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) training for our executive team and board to help ensure all decision making is first considered through the lens of equity and social justice
We commit to sharing team openings with diverse and underrepresented populations within our industry
We commit to evaluating ALL prospective board members and volunteers based upon their outlined commitment and proposed strategies for creating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community
- “Present representative marketing and advertising in our media.”
We commit to celebrating diversity and changing the standard outdoor narrative on our social feeds, website, blog, educational resources, marketing materials, and throughout our journalism efforts
- “Engage and support broadly representative ambassador and athlete teams.”
We commit to assembling ambassador and volunteer teams that represent womxn from diverse races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, abilities, and recreational disciplines,
- “Finally, we will share our experiences with other leading brands.”
We commit to sharing our efforts, strategies, and experiences with other brands and organizations to ensure that we’re collectively working to build a more diverse industry and society
In addition, through the remainder of 2020, we independently commit to:
- Assembling a permanent DEI committee that will guide our efforts and measure our success moving forward
- Providing a professional DEI training workshop to the greater AMI community to ensure anti-racism education and resources are accessible at a grassroots level
- Developing a permanent anti-racism resource section on our education page and a highlight on the AMI Instagram to encourage our digital community to initiate their own anti-racism work
- Developing meaningful, culturally-informed resources that support and empower moms of color as they navigate maternal wellness and the outdoors
We believe that brands, organizations, and platforms, including ours, need to be held accountable. Public declarations, black squares, and hashtags need to be substantiated with strategies and action that are measured for effectiveness on an ongoing basis. In sharing this plan, we’re not aiming to evoke gratitude or applause, it’s to create accountability.
If you have thoughts, feedback, observations, or questions, reach out to us. We will be entirely transparent as we work to create a more equitable, inclusive outdoor industry and will provide updates along the way.
We love YOU and are committed to doing better FOR YOU.