Dear Black, Indigenous, Latina, Asian and all Women of Color in Backcountry Squatters,
We hope that Backcountry Squatters is a community of which you feel comfortable and welcome. However, the leadership team at Backcountry Squatters recognizes that allyship is a verb, and anti-racism is work that we must do constantly. While we hope that Backcountry Squatters continually fulfills its mission of being a comfortable, inclusive and empowering space for all self-identifying women, we acknowledge that there may be moments of laps and failure in our execution.
In the times that of failure, we promise:
We will not practice white fragility.
We will listen to how we didn’t fulfill our mission.
We will not make excuses for why we didn’t fulfill our mission. Instead,
We will figure out how to ensure our mistake does not persist in the culture we’re building.
We will not expect the women affected to heal themselves. Instead,
We will figure out how our community can be a healing space for any and all individuals whom we’ve failed and offer a restorative space to those who desire it.
We are trying to identify our flaws preemptively so that we can always be working on them, but if there has been a time (or comes a time) where we have not created a comfortable, inclusive and empowering space, we invite you to tell us in the form below. We will not leave anyone behind in our mission of growing participation, leadership and representation in the outdoor community.
Dear White Women in Backcountry Squatters,
As an organization, we realize that prior to college (and oftentimes even after) most white-women have not been educated in anti-racism. In order to work towards cultivating an equal-opportunity, welcoming and safe space for Black, Indigenous, Latina, Asian and all women of color, we require our branch’s leadership to start and continue doing this work.
This work will be uncomfortable. When you feel uncomfortable, we ask you to remember that this training is not for you. It is for all the women who do not have the privilege to walk away from conversations about and consequences of race because they are not white. So, when you feel uncomfortable, lean into why you feel uncomfortable so that you may learn more and grow with our community.
For all of us, this has just been the beginning of our education. We hope this will be an exciting point for you to start and continue this work personally, as well.
It’s time for us all to do better,
Resources for Further Education:
Confronting racism is not about the needs and feelings of white people
White people are still raised to be racially illiterate. If we don’t recognize the system, our inaction will uphold it.
Microinvalidations Are Real and They Can Have a Big Impact
An Instagram Thread on how we Must Heal Our Desire to be Pretty, Nice, Quiet and Desirable in order to be Anti-Racist
Five ways to make the outdoors more inclusive
This White Feminist Loved Her Dreadlocks – Here’s Why She Cut Them Off
8 Ways People of Color are Tokenized in Nonprofits
Racism, Not a Lack of Assimilation, is the Real Problem Facing Latinos in America
The Coronavirus Exposes the History of Racism and “cleanliness”
Indigenous Perspectives on Native Student Challenges in Higher Education
How to Apologize when you get called out
Dear White People (available on Netflix)
next steps for Backcountry Squatters members
Spread these resources with other members
Consume some (or all!) of the resources of the In Solidarity Project
Note: Backcountry Squatters has signed The Pledge
Stream some of the videos on Diversify Outdoor’s website for your own personal education or for a Backcountry Squatter’s event
Suggest things we can do better
Keep educating yourself!
To talk further with Backcountry Squatters about our anti-racism work, email email@example.com or fill out the anonymous form below.
Anonymous Comment on Inclusion at Backcountry Squatters
Please use this form to leave an anonymous comment about a time where Backcountry Squatters has not created a comfortable and empowering space, for any reason. Please tell us if what/who you have a concern about if you feel comfortable doing so.
Please also use this space to share other resources if you would like to.