Outdoor media has long been dominated by white voices and faces. Progressive ideals of conservation and activism, let alone the pursuit of adventure stoke, mean nothing if others seeking the same goals feel discouraged or boxed out by not being represented. Across the outdoors community, Black- and Brown-owned organizations and influencers of color have long been crushing it in the outdoors — and it’s past due for everyone to start paying attention. Here are just a few of the many amazing accounts on Instagram from BIPOC outdoor adventurers, athletes, and conservationists.
Danielle Williams founded the blog and activism site Melanin Base Camp, a resource for BIPOC in the outdoors and a tool for promoting inclusivity, including one of the most complete guides to how white people can be effective allies of the movement.
Photographer Gina Danza travels across the United States to capture nature in all her glory. Her channel documents her adventures and her impeccable eye for unique shot angles — some with human subjects, many with the landscape as the standalone star.
You’d be hard-pressed to find an Instagram channel that gets you more stoked to get out on the water than Jamaican surfer and musician Ivah Wilmot’s. He shares new tunes via social and shreds epic waves around the world.
Skateboarder Samarria Brevard was the first Black woman to medal at the X-Games, taking silver in Street in 2017. Her Instagram channel is a mix of rad skate shots and activism, coupled with promos for Brevard’s video parts, the content of which will have you questioning whether gravity actually exists.
The Black Outdoors highlights photos taken from other Black outdoor enthusiasts across the internet, featuring top shots from users who share photos using the hashtag #BlackOutdoors. People are the focus, with photos tagged at outdoor locations across the world.
Outdoor Afro connects BIPOC outdoor adventurers for meetups and excursions around the United States. With leaders based in 30 states, Outdoor Afro even took Oprah out into the redwoods of northern California. The organization accepts donations to support its advocacy work.
Ambreen Tariq is an Indian-Muslim-American woman and avid camper and trekker. She encourages people of color to share their stories of outdoor adventure and is a major advocate for diversity in outdoor spaces. She says it best on her page: “Nobody will ever tell your story better than you. So take the pen, take the mic, take the lead.”
Sabrina Chapman is an expert climber, currently working to climb her first 5.14a, an incredibly difficult grade of difficulty. She was the first woman to climb the 5.13d “The Man in Me” at Lion’s Head in Ontario, Canada, and her Instragam channel is a vivid documentation of how hard she works at her craft. Melanin Base Camp is producing a documentary film about Sabrina’s story.
This 15-year-old Michigan native is an “influencer in waiting.” The young shredder is working hard to become the first Black member of the US Olympic Snowboard Team. He’s already traveled the world on his board and competed in high-level competitions through the United States Amateur Snowboard Association.
Justin Forrest Parks and Pilar Amado created this page and its associated website to promote diversity in Chicago’s climbing scene. Parks grew up on Chicago’s southside, Amado in Medellin, Colombia. Through in-person climbing sessions and features on the Instagram page, Parks welcomes POC climbers into a community and inspires followers of his social channels to take action to combat racism and promote inclusivity in climbing.
The Black Surfing Association started in 1975 in California and opened in Rockaway Beach, Queens, in 2016. The group provides surf lessons to underprivileged kids and a sense of community for Black surfers on both coasts.
Selema Masekela may be best known as a sports commentator or Emmy-nominated producer, or even as the musician Alekesam. But the LA native is also a keen surfer who grew up often finding himself as the only Black wave-rider in the water. He co-founded Stoked Mentoring, which mentors at-risk youth through action sports, and advises the Tony Hawk Foundation, aimed at providing legal skateboard parks for kids.
Four avid surfers came together to bring the culture of women in surfing to underrepresented communities. With the tagline “Women of all shades, riding waves,” Textured Waves wants to show women of color that they too belong in the water. Together with Selema Masekela, they recently participated in a moving Paddle Out for Unity event in support of Black Lives Matter.
All Mountain Brothers celebrates all POC mountain bikers. It’s a great place to see inspiring images and words from people who love the sport of mountain biking and other outdoor pursuits.
Host of the TV documentary series Birds of North America, Jason Ward helped organize the recent #BlackBirdersWeek event in the wake of the racist incident in Central Park against Black birder Christian Cooper, in solidarity for the Black birding community. Ward created a #TrickyBirdID Twitter game to help identify birds, serves as the community relations coordinator at the National Audubon Society, and has been awarded for his community outreach efforts.
Zookeeper Jordan Vesley wants people of color to know that they pursue their passion for wildlife, and they shouldn’t worry about the lack of representation from people of color in the field. The creator of the Youtube channel Jungle Jordan also makes educational TikTok videos to explain all things wild.