Supporting Diversity and Accessibility in Outdoor Recreation
Over the past week, we've stayed quiet on various channels to amplify Black voices and not detract from the ongoing fight against racism and injustice. During that time we, both as individuals and as a company, have tried to better understand how we can use our voices to support the black community in our own industry.
The outdoors have sadly been less than welcoming for people of color. For reasons ranging from representation and access (fewer than 3% of outdoor gear magazine ads showed a person of color) to outright hostility (cops are often called on black bird watches in public parks), the outdoors have had too many barriers for too many people for far too long.
Next Mile Meals was born out of a need to remove our own barriers to the outdoors, to make the backcountry and wild places more accessible to folks with dietary restrictions and health needs. As we considered (and continue to consider) ways to contribute our voices and efforts to the fight against racial injustice—both as individuals and as a business, locally and in our community—we feel our first step can be to show what we've been doing, and what we pledge to do in the future, to help break down other barriers to make the outdoors more diverse, and welcoming — for everyone.
- Participate in public efforts and pledges such as the The Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge, to learn from inclusion advocates the best way we can be a force of change in our industry.
- Seek out and partner with more black-owned gear companies, helping to bring attention to their products and support to their businesses.
- Partner with more BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) ambassadors and photographers to improve representation in our own advertising and social media reach, as well as highlight their skills to a larger audience.
- Expand our existing philanthropic efforts to include organizations that are leading the way for inclusion in outdoor recreation, nature, and conservation.
- As we continue to grow, build a diverse and inclusive team in our offices, kitchen, and fulfillment facilities, developing leadership opportunities to reach a more proportionate representation.
Next Mile Meals is a small, family-run business that came to life on the Pacific Crest Trail. This blog is our way of giving back to the hiking community; sharing our successes, our failures, and our learnings as we try to eat better, pack lighter, and go farther in our many outdoor adventures.