In response to massive public outcry throughout the nation stemming from the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, a number of leading outdoor brands have issued statements.
Orvis led with this:
“Orvis’ vision is to inspire the world to love the adventure and wonder in nature. For us, an inspired world is one that is inclusive, equitable and without barriers. One that is achieved by acknowledging privilege, exploring blind spots, and engaging in important and uncomfortable conversations.
We are deeply saddened by the pain and unrest across our country. Anti-blackness and racism have no place in our world. We stand in solidarity with our friends and community members in demanding equity.
The outdoor recreation and fly-fishing communities are not immune from what we are seeing. We know not everyone feels invited, included, or sometimes even safe to participate in fly fishing. We also know that we, Orvis, are far from perfect, and that there is a lot of work to do. But we are committed to engaging, and we understand that there are many of us in the established angling community who need to step up and lead. It has to be our responsibility if change is going to happen.
We ask everyone in the outdoor and angling communities to join us in expressing a commitment to combat racism of any kind, a willingness to engage in this conversation, and an obligation to create change and create a more equitable fly-fishing culture, outdoor community and greater world.”
Patagonia produced this:
The Outdoor Industry Association said this:
“We can continue to pretend that parks are for all or we can acknowledge and change the reality that to be black or brown outdoors might not be safe and could cost you your life. We must demand of ourselves and society to do something different.”
— Lise Aangeenbrug, Executive Director of OIA
Repost @camberoutdoors: Black and brown people are disproportionately victims of violence in the United States. Racism unchecked in our streets and our parks bleeds into our workplaces. Allies, what will you do when you see racism happening?
Trout Unlimited said this:
“For 60 years, the work of Trout Unlimited has been grounded in community. Every time we bring historic adversaries together to remove a dam or restore a watershed, we build community. Every stream clean-up, kid’s camp, veteran’s trip, advocacy event, Trout in the Classroom program, local fishing-day—it all creates community. But we will do more.
We’ve learned that conservation is ultimately about people engaging people in the protection of the lands and waters that sustain us—all of us together. But across America today, many of our communities are hurting. Inequities and violence undermine the basic bonds that unite us as a nation. This should trigger rigorous introspection. Introspection about what we can do as an organization to become more welcoming to more of America—what we can do to become more inclusive and more equitable. Good comes when we listen more, understand more, and judge less—when we seek compassion and ways to help our neighbors. Good comes from building an America that truly allows for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all its citizens. Inequity and violence destroy. When we build community, we create.
Trout Unlimited and its 300,000 members and supporters will play an active role in efforts to build community across the nation. We cannot simply ignore the news, go fishing, and wait this out. Trout Unlimited will be part of the solution by addressing the inequities in our communities, and by building space for all people to participate in our mission of conserving, protecting, and restoring our watersheds.”
For a rundown of other statements by outdoor brands, you can visit here.
Interestingly, if you follow any of these statements on social media, and read the comments in opposition of equity, it becomes exactly clear how much of a reality racism is… throughout the country… and in the sport of fly fishing.
Angling Trade believes that diversity is key to the future of the sport of fly fishing. Going forward, we will be running regular profiles (with links to donate) on various organizations that effectively work to connect diverse communities to the outdoors. If you represent a group like this and would like the floor, contact us.
“In the spring of 2019, the Outdoor Foundation launched the Thrive Outside Community Initiative, a community-based initiative providing multi-year capacity building grants in geographically diverse places in the U.S. in order to increase repeat and reinforcing experiences outside for kids & families. Outdoor Foundation funding focuses on engaging diverse communities with the hope to connect over 100,000 kids & families to the outdoors over the next 3 years! Our inaugural Thrive Outside communities are San Diego, California, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Atlanta Georgia. More information on these community’s progress can be found at www.outdoorindustry.org/thrive-outside. We are actively fundraising to be able to select new communities in 2020/2021!”