Sep 4, 2023 2 min read

Speaking Up - Week 9

Advocacy is empathy, compassion, and community at work.- Janna Cachola

Welcome to Week 9 of the Inclusive Community Outdoor Challenge!  If you're new to the challenge, you can 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.      

At the beginning of this 10-week Inclusive Community Outdoor Challenge, we shared that we would be asked to:

  • Wake up,
  • Listen up,
  • Open up,
  • Speak up, and
  • Step up.

So, after 8 of our 10 weeks, it is about time we found our voice and used it.


  • Select one aspect of diversity in the outdoors that matters to you and practice using your voice to speak up about it.
  • Then, find another...

-Some Ideas for Action

  • Start simple. Spend time talking with a friend about the lack of diversity in the outdoors and why it matters to you and your community. Talking things over with a friend is an easy way to practice using your voice. It can help you clarify your thoughts and crystalize what really matters to you. Be sure to listen to them as well. This is a conversation, not a monologue.
  • Speak the world you want to see into existence. Use your voice and platform to put something positive into the universe, representing the world you want to see. Write, blog, post, share, and/or re-post at least 5 things that demonstrate the inclusion you wish to see in the outdoors.
  • Level up your advocacy.  Speak up locally and/or nationally to advocate for an outdoor cause you care about. Sign a petition, send a note to your elected officials, show up for a demonstration.
  • Join with others. Together is better, and more voices matter. Reach out and add your voice to the voices of others who share a common interest and speak up together.
  • Take some risk. Leverage your social and reputational capital to get closer to funders and key decision makers, talk with them, and advocate for changes supporting a more diverse outdoors in your community.

In the comments, feel free to share an aspect of outdoor diversity that has motivated you to speak up or tell us how you are speaking up. (You'll need to sign in to comment.)

-My Experience

In this week's episode, I reflect on how this challenge has helped me discover and use my voice to advocate for diversity in the outdoors. I'll share my perspective on what has gone well and where I still have work to do.

-Additional Thoughts

I love The Melanin Base Camp Guide to Outdoor Allyship. If you're reading this and you're white, it might be a good idea to read their article before taking on this week's challenge. For those of us with a good amount of privilege (and I include myself here), it is a good reminder that when we speak up, we need to check our privilege. Also, it reminds us that in speaking up, we don't have to be the center of attention or the center of the story. We can play a supporting role.

Here's an advocacy opportunity through the Sierra Club as one way to use your voice to support the Outdoors for All Act that is before Congress.

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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