Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion Resources

OWAA Diversity Statement of Intent

OWAA welcomes, respects, and supports all communicators, particularly those from underrepresented communities who are involved in or wish to become involved with sharing the outdoor experience.

OWAA strives to advance the professional goals of its members and potential members by encouraging dialogue and providing resources that reflect the values of justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility and open-mindedness. It also aims to increase opportunities and encourage involvement in the outdoors by all.

         Approved by the OWAA Board of Directors, Feb. 9, 2021. 

The Purpose of this Document

The purpose of this resource library is to give OWAA members a concise and curated list of resources that they can use to begin the process of understanding the meaning of diversity, equity, inclusion in our culture and in the outdoor industry.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of resources, or of issues. It is a good place to start.

You may want to work through the resources sequentially. You are welcome to jump around. You are encouraged to learn more about the topics presented here by searching for keywords, researching authors and the other works they’ve produced, or reaching out for suggestions on the OWAA Members Only Facebook group.

Stories of Racism in the Outdoors

Why do outdoor communicators need to think about diversity, equity and inclusion?

Outdoors for all: Why diversity matters to the outdoor industry

"An article that reminds us of the potential to increase outdoor participation by being more inclusive." - Glenn Sapir

This Land Documentary

"Here, Faith E. Briggs, runner and advocate, is running 150 miles through three U.S. National Monuments — on a journey exploring public lands and seeking inclusion and empowerment. This short, moving film is quite simply, powerful." - Kelsey Roseath

Black & Brown Faces in America's Wild Places

"This book tells stories - along with beautiful photographs - of folks less often represented in the outdoors. Pour yourself some coffee and enjoy." - Christine Peterson

A magical hike on Whidbey Island whitewashes Native history

"This article shines the light on revisionist history; and the controversy over the author's identity is also something we can learn from." - Emily Stone

Getting Started in Understanding DEAI

How do we start to understand the issues of race, gender and disabilities in our country?

For Our White Friends Desiring to be Allies

"Wish you could have a no-B.S. conversation that would make more comfortable becoming an ally and an anti-racist? This is it." - Steve Griffin

We all have implicit biases. So what can we do about it?

In a short amount of time, and with powerful simplicity, Dushaw Hockett breaks down how Implicit Bias affects our lives and actions, posing an important question: 'How do we align or actions and behaviors with our consciously held egalitarian beliefs?'" - Amy Kapp

Implicit Association Test

"Project Implicit’s goal is to educate people about their biases. This nonprofit also offers consultation and education resources on diversity and inclusion to increase public awareness of the effects of implicit bias. Explore, and be prepared for a perspective shift." - Kelsey Roseth

So You Want to Talk About Race

"A comprehensive guide to understanding race relations in the United States. It's the perfect introduction to Black culture, presented in clear, digestible chapters." - Nicole Atkins

7 Ways We Know Systemic Racism Is Real

"This article outlines 7 ways that systemic racism continues to thrive in America. It is a apples to apples compariosn of Whites and Blacks and shows proof of how racism continues to play a part in almost all aspects of Black life. There is a 4 minute video that is worth viewing that goes deeper on the subject." - Eric Morris

Invisible Nation with Jordan Klepper

"Eye-opening, powerful video about how our nation sees (or, more appropriately, doesn't see) our nation's own indigenous peoples. Great, straightforward questions about how people can become allies and not appropriators." - Chez Chesak

This Land interactive map

"An excellent graphic for research purposes and to remind us of the complex network of nations and languages that flourished in the 'New World' before European colonization." - Tom Carney

To Diversify the Outdoors, We Have to Think About Who We're Excluding

"'That's not really camping.' Ever said that? Maybe your preconceived notions are turning diverse outdoors enthusiasts into outsiders. This interview with Ambreen Tariq of Brown People Camping, will challenge your notions of what the outdoor experience means." - Matthew L. Miller

Diving Deeper

Now that we’re familiar with the basic issues, how do we understand what it means to be an anti-racist?

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism

"An indepth physchological discussion from a White perspective on the internal issues within White culture that prevents White people from overcoming racism. The article gives solid examples of how White people implode when addressing racism. The author ends the article with good tips on how White can better themselves when addressing racism. A must read." - Eric Morris

Inclusivity in the Outdoors Panel

"This engaging and personal discussion among five very different members of the outdoor community helped me to better understand the challenges we face in diversifying the outdoors." - Emily Stone

How to Be an Antiracist

"This book can be challenging, but it left me with the drive—and roadmap—to being more than just 'not racist.'" - Steve Griffin

White Awake: An honest look to what it means to be white

"Author Daniel Hill breaks down the dangerous mythos of 'race' and how it propelled systemic prejudice. He offers three revolutionary approaches to confronting racist ideology and bigotry. And he provides a succinct definition of privilege." - Nicole Atkins

The Indigenous Field Guide

"This guide educates the public on preventing damage to nonrenewable cultural resources, sacred sites that hold a massive amount of cultural and spiritual importance to multiple Indigenous communities.'" - Tom Carney


"Beautifully written, this book presents the general "structure of an unspoken system of human ranking and reveals how our lives are still restricted by what divided us centuries ago." Read this before reading "The Warmth of Other Suns.'" - Tom Carney

The Warmth of Other Suns

"The general experiences presented in [her previous book] Caste play out in the lives of four specific African-Americans profiled, once again, in Wilkerson's sublime, expert prose.'" - Tom Carney

The Hate U Give

"If you also still enjoy reading YA fiction, this book is a wonderful window into other lives. The author does a great job of creating relateable characters who are dealing with issues in the news, like riots, etc. Fiction has been shown to increase empathy. This is a fun way to gain more." - Emily Stone

Unsettling Truths

"Subtitled 'The Ongoing, Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery,' the book explores the genesis and effects of white supremacy from political, religious, psychological, and sociological viewpoints. The truths are, indeed, unsettling." - Tom Carney

Making a Difference

What can we do professionally to encourage/help everyone feel comfortable in the outdoors or promote outdoor communicators who are not the traditional demographics?

26 Ways (& More) to be an Ally in the Outdoor Industry

"Allies champion understanding, sit with uncomfortable circumstances and embrace challenge. This list helps you do all three while also offering an expanded perspective when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion. Not all allies are graceful. This useful guide reduces the stumbles." - Kris Millgate

Recolor the Outdoors

"To better understand the barriers that people of color face to participating in outdoor activities, Alex Bailey offers a detailed explanation based on his family’s personal experiences." - Ruth Hoyt

Black Faces, White Spaces : Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors

"Finney spoke at the OWAA conference in Little Rock, AR, and this book dives deeper as she examines how pivotal events like the Wilderness Act of 1964 and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina affected communities of color differently from their white counterparts." - Danielle Taylor

AP Style Book for race-related coverage

"We all likely have a copy of the AP style guide on hand, but be sure to use this as a refence for questions about race and language." - Christine Peterson

Here are the OWAA members who recommended these resources for you

Headshot of Nicole Atkins with a purple hood covering one eye
Nicole Atkins
Headshot of Tom Carney standing in front of a vehicle with an open hatch
Tom Carney
Headshot of Chez Chesak standing on a beach
Chez Chesak
Headshot of Steve Griffin lowering his sunglasses with a chainlink fence background
Steve Griffin
Ruth Hoyt holds an orange in her hand and an Audubon’s Oriole lights on her finger to eat from the orange.
Ruth Hoyt
Headshot of Amy Kapp with highrise buildings in the background
Amy Kapp
Headshot of Matt Miller with blurry background
Matt Miller
Headshot of Kris Millgate with blurry background
Kris Millgate
Headshot of Eric Morris sitting in a vehicle
Eric Morris
Headshot of Christine Peterson in a heavy parka with a pair of sunglasses raised on her forehead
Christine Peterson
Headshot of Kelsey Roseth against a white backdrop
Kelsey Roseth
Headshot of Glenn Sapir with no background visible
Glenn Sapir
Headshot of Emily Stone with a lake in the background
Emily Stone
Headshot of Danielle Taylor with blurry background
Danielle Taylor
Scroll to Top