Aug 22, 2023 3 min read

Our Part of the Mess - Week 7

Compass, Map and Mountains
One must always be aware, to notice even though the cost of noticing is to become responsible. – Thylias Moss
In a system problem, if you’re part of the system, you’re part of the problem. - Dave Gray

Welcome to Week 7 of the Inclusive Community Outdoor Challenge!  View the full challenge here where you can view past weeks and navigate via the table of contents. You'll also be able to find transcripts for all the weeks' audio on this page.      

This 10-Week Challenge has been motivated by the ambition to make the outdoors more accessible, equitable, and inclusive. No doubt, we are all part of this system. This week's challenge prompts us to take a first step toward locating ourselves within the system.


  • Take a look at your favorite outdoor gear. Who makes it? Where did you buy it?
  • What are the outdoor organizations you support, endorse, or donate to?
  • What do you know about their commitment to equity and inclusion?


  • Make a short list of entities to explore.
  • What can you learn about them? What are their values? How do they embody diversity and inclusion in their products, marketing, images, and actions?
  • Are you happy with what you see? Is there anybody you should drop? Anybody you should support more?

In the comments, feel free to share what you learned. Call out anyone you think could do more, or recognize anyone you think is stepping up. (You'll need to sign in to comment)

-My Experience

Certainly, the gear we buy and the organizations we support are only one way that we are part of the Outdoor System. However, this exercise gives us a small taste of what it means to locate ourselves within the system and examine the choices we are making. In my Week 7 Experience, I took a look at the companies behind the gear you see in the photo below, spent a little time locating myself in the system, and challenged myself about what I found.

-Additional Thoughts

If you have time for only one more thing. Check out this community guide created by REI - Outside in 5: Community Guide for Closing the Nature Gap. Really well done and full of ideas and resources you can use in your own community.

Need even more food for thought? REI sponsored this work and published it in partnership with The Atlantic: Five Ways to Make the Outdoors More Inclusive: An Action Plan for Change.

Looking for an organization to support or get involved with? Here's a list of 15 Organizations Advancing Diversity Outdoors.

Plus a few more:

-Industry Coalitions

I learned that REI and Camelbak were part of the coalition called Camber Outdoors. Camber is a nonprofit organization founded in 1996 that equips Partner organizations across the $887 Billion Outdoor Recreation Economy to implement best practices in Workplace Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Learn more about the Running Industry Diversity Coalition (RIDC) where Altra is a member.

Learn more about Together Outdoors, a coalition of outdoors-related organizations, businesses and land management agencies that share a commitment to making the outdoors a more welcoming, inclusive, and enjoyable place for all.

Thanks for reading. If you're interested in building a more inclusive community and world, I'm sure you know others who are too. Please share this newsletter with a colleague or friend.

This newsletter is a publication from State of Inclusion.

Ame Sanders
Founder of State of Inclusion. A seasoned leader & change-maker, she is focused on positive change within communities.
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