The national movement protesting systemic racism and police brutality has demonstrated the urgency to address deeply rooted problems that activists have been calling out for decades; to engage with difficult history and an uncertain future; and to act with compassion, empathy, and willingness to change.
Naming these needs is far from doing the difficult work to address them. We at NOLS know that it’s difficult, because we recognize that when it comes to dismantling systemic racism, we’re beginners. Whatever skill areas we might have developed in 55 years as a school, in this area we’re at the start of a steep learning curve.
As educators, it’s our responsibility to make sure we create learning environments in which students and staff feel safe and have equal access to learning. Doing this demands that we engage in dialogue around dismantling systemic racism, examine our practices, and own up to what we don’t know. Even though it makes us uncomfortable. Even though we’re going to stumble—and stumble again. But as any good teacher will tell you, discomfort is critical to growth. It’s how we learn. And it’s what leads to change.
If you’re someone who, like us, is looking to the leadership of those who have invested years in anti-racism advocacy, especially in the outdoors, following is a selection of resources that can provide a starting point.
We know it’s only a start. We know we have a lot to learn and do. And we hope you’ll keep learning with us, too.
Resources For Anti-Racism
Environmental History and Activism
- I Said I wasn't Outdoorsy...But I Lied (Personal narrative)
- The State of Diversity in Environmentalism (report on diversity in the environmental movement)
- The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature (Essay)
- Why diversity matters: the importance of racial and ethnic equality in conservation (Academic article)
- Wilderness, Race, and African Americans: An Environmental History from Slavery to Jim Crow (Academic paper)
History & Culture
- Black-Owned Independent Bookstores by State
- Microaggressions (Presentation)
- The Psychological Experiences of Students of Color (Academic paper)
- What We Mean When We Say 'Race is a Social Construct' (Article)
- Racial Microaggressions
- White Culture
White Privilege and White Culture
- Seeing White (Radio show)
- What White Children Need to Know About Race (Academic article)
- What ‘White Privilege’ Really Means (Op-ed)
- What riding my bike has taught me about white privilege (Personal narrative)
- From White Racist to White Anti-Racist: The Lifelong Journey (Essay)
Resources from the NOLS Community
From Randy P.
From @kat_hanc (Works of Fiction)
- Code Switch (Podcast)
- Black Faces, White Spaces (Book)
- Colour Code (Podcast)
From Cindy F.
- Solidarity + Resources for Racial Justice from Where There Be Dragons
From Lucy B.
From John S.
From Tobias N.
NOLS is a nonprofit global wilderness school that seeks to help you step forward boldly as a leader.