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Women In The Outdoors Breaking Trail & Creating Space

Women In The Outdoors Breaking Trail & Creating Space

In honor of Women’s History Month, we want to share some of the people who are working to make the outdoor space more inclusive. Today in the outdoor community there is noticeably more discourse around diversity and inclusion in the outdoors. And this is thanks to many women and non-binary people who have demanded, fought for, and created this space. And in doing so, we’ve seen how taking an intersectional lens and creating various outlets, opportunities, and spaces for diverse groups of people is enriching and growing the outdoor community. The following individuals are making waves in the outdoor space toward a more diverse and inclusive outdoor community. If you’re wondering what to do for Women’s History Month and how to celebrate; what better way to celebrate than to read and share their stories and support their organizations.

Jenny Bruso 

Jenny Bruso (she/they) founded Unlikely Hikers, an organization that uplifts and creates space for people who are generally left out of the outdoors community. Specifically, Jenny noticed an absence of space for people of color and fat people in the outdoors and hiking. Unlikely Hikers has grown and evolved into an intersectional community that organizes hikes, meet-ups, and events for anyone who may not fit into the generic definition of “outdoorsy.” Follow Jenny and her story on Instagram here

Faith Briggs 

Faith Briggs (she/her) is a documentary filmmaker, creative producer, and podcast host with a focus on media that represents diverse communities. Her podcast, The Trail Ahead, uniquely looks at the outdoors with an emphasis on the intersection of race, culture, environment, history, and the outdoors. Follow Faith Briggs on Instagram here

Annette Diggs 

Annette Diggs (she/her) works within the snow sports industry to help uplift and support BIPOC in snow sports. She founded Edge Outdoors to assist in the “undoing of a wrongful past and creating a new generation of skiers and riders that can create an equitable and just future.” Edge Outdoors is an organization that is working to create access for POC in snow sports and diminish barriers to the outdoors. Follow Annette on Instagram here.

Rue Mapp 

Rue Mapp (she/her) is the founder and CEO of Outdoor Afro, an organization for Black communities and nature to meet. The idea of Outdoor Afro is to connect Black people with the outdoors through outdoor education, recreation, and conservation. Outdoor Afro started with Rue Mapp’s kitchen table blog and now provides resources, events, and programs to black people. Follow Rue on Instagram here

Elyse Rylander 

Elyse Rylander (she/her) the founder of Out There Adventures is a long-time nature lover, adventurist, educator, and leader within the outdoor community. Out There Adventures was created to educate, inspire and help lead youth, particularly queer youth through a connection to the outdoors. Elyse built and now runs Out There Adventures as well as facilities and LGBTQIA+ outdoor summit, consults, and does speaking engagements on creating a more inclusive outdoor community. Be sure to follow Elyse on Instagram here

Jaylyn Gough 

Jaylyn Gough (she/her) from the Diné (Navajo) tribe in New Mexico started Native Women’s Wilderness, a platform for Native women to express love and passion for the wild and outdoors as well as education for ancestral lands many recreate on. NWW was born to create more space and uplift voices for Native women who love the outdoors. Jaylyn is an avid hiker, mountain biker, climber, landscape photographer, and more who has a passion for inclusivity and community within the outdoors. Follow Jaylyn on Instagram here

Claire Smallwood 

Claire Smallwood (she/her) is the co-founder and executive director of She Jumps. She Jumps has a mission of bringing more girls and women into outdoor sports and recreation. They emphasize creating opportunities for girls and women who do not otherwise have access to the outdoors. As an organization, they provide resources, events, and scholarships to increase participation and diversity in the outdoor community. Claire helped found the organization and currently directs the team. To learn more listen to her being interviewed on the Claire Gleich Show and follow her on Instagram here

Raquel Vélez

Too many women still walk out of outdoor specialty stores, unable to find anything that fits. To solve this, Raquel Vélez, (she/her), founded Alpine Parrot in 2019 as a response to the lack of size and ethnic diversity in outdoor apparel. Alpine Parrot makes technical outdoor apparel for women's sizes 14-30, focusing on the inclusion of our inherent diversity as humans who care about the planet. As a plus sized Latina who discovered her love of the outdoors later in life, Raquel has put an incredible amount of careful consideration into the design of each product, focusing on great fit and quality construction. She was named one of Outside Magazine's Outsiders of the Year 2021. Learn more about Alpine Parrot here and give them a follow in IG here.

These are just some of the inspiring individuals who are spearheading change in the snow sports world for the better. Many have been instrumental in the foundations of creating a more diverse and inclusive outdoor community. Make sure you continue to support, uplift and follow their journeys—the best is yet to come. If you’re looking for other ways to celebrate and support women in the outdoors make sure to read our blog on women-owned outdoor brands as well as the women who inspire us at Coalition Snow.


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