An Open Letter to White People Who Want to Use Their Platform to Dismantle White Supremacy

We frequently get asked by fellow white people, particularly those who work in environmental jobs, in the national park service, or public lands, if we can offer them advice, tips, or resources about how to address white supremacy and ongoing colonization. Whether they are leading conservation groups, responsible for teaching natural history, or are in charge of hiring, white people come to us with their concerns about how to address systemic oppression and acknowledge the true history of the land without centering whiteness. Because of how white people are conditioned in a white supremacist nation, racism manifests in our thinking, behavior, and actions.

Ambient Dominion: How 'Free Solo' Points to An Epidemic of Toxic Masculinity

 Free Solo is an attempt to complexify the narrative of not just climbing, but particularly free soloing, and not just free soloing, but the nation’s most recognized free soloist. The film indeed added complexity to free soloing and Alex Honnold, but it revealed layers that it probably didn’t intend on exposing. The written accounts coming out about the film divulge a repetitive and classic trope about White men.


Travel is intended to be a place that is safe for people to be themselves and to immerse themselves in diversity of places, people, thoughts, food and more.  As a global traveler and a mountain trekker of almost 20 years, I have come to love the diversity that comes along with every moment I’m wandering in some parts of our world.  I learned not to just respect but appreciate the differences among people that I come across in my traveling life.

How the Unintentional Racism of the Outdoor Industry is Getting in the Way of Creating Authentic Community

Practicing anti-racism in our workplaces, at festivals, at community gatherings, at home, even at our favorite national parks is key to creating a safer community for all because the violence of racism does not disappear in the woods or mountains. It’s there in our conversations, in our actions, and in our beliefs. The unintentional racism of the outdoor industry is just as hostile as the racism of the people who are lighting their Nikes on fire. We need to make visible how we White people have been conditioned from living in a White supremacist culture. Without examining our patterns, assumptions, beliefs, and actions, we will not achieve the authentic community that we say we want. We compiled a list of resources for those who want to learn more about how to dismantle White supremacy and create truly inclusive and equitable spaces.

Reclaiming the Nüümü Poyo: Indigenous Women Hike Journeys to Decolonize Ancestral Homelands

Jolie Varela of Indigenous Women Hike after completing her journey of traveling and reclaiming the Nüümü Poyo: “We grow stronger every day. Every Native baby born, every Indigenous person relearning their language, every ceremony is an act of defiance against colonization. I think Indigenous women are the future and healing of this world. I hope Indigenous Women Hike inspires other Natives who aren’t already practicing their rights to our lands to do so. I hope this opens people’s eyes and they begin to understand our rights as Indigenous people to practice ceremony on our lands without permission.”

How Whiteness as a Societal Construct Has Ensured My Isolation as a Racist

After spending time looking at my commitment to Whiteness, I have come to realize that blaming patriarchy was a desperate and comfortable explanation that suited my White fragility quite well. I could blame men. I didn’t need to look at myself at all because I was a victim. Before I began this lifelong examination, I believed myself as outside of those other White people who voted for Trump. I saw myself as different from Trump. But those White people, Trump, and myself are of the same cloth. We are all White supremacists. Our commitment to the construct of Whiteness just looks and sounds different.

Desert Kinks

Hair is a marker of beauty for women across the world, especially through the mainstream white, heterosexual gaze. Hair (or lack thereof), whether on your head or your body, demarcates the women who are actually worth being looked at. Slavery indoctrinated black people with the harmful notion that we had to somehow emulate irrational standards of white beauty, and ever since, the black community has been grappling with the ideals of “good hair.” We’ve been battling white fetishizers who pounce at the chance to objectify our nappy hair texture, while people who think our hair care techniques are dirty and unhealthy have belittled us. A black woman’s hair is a sociocultural nexus that carries the weight of centuries of oppression. Black hair can also be a source of identity and self-worth. What’s it like to wake up every morning with all that power resting upon your head? 

Appropriation and Colonialism at the Oregon Country Fair

Places like Eugene, Oregon are often touted as a liberal oasis -- but only if you are White. If you are Indigenous or a person of color then you are subjected to the impacts of a state founded on White greed. With the removal of the tribes in 1856 to Grande-Ronde Indian Reservation, the history of the native peoples of Oregon was obscured for over 100 years. Despite this invisibilization, the surviving and thriving ancestors in the Grande Ronde tribe have ensured that Eugene and the surrounding areas are rich with Native restorative projects. Yet with all of this activity, cultural appropriation is ubiquitous. From “native survival” arts to sweat lodges, Oregon is a hot spot of stealing native culture. The Oregon Country Fair is a prime suspect with their not-so-distant plans to build a “Haida totem pole.”

How Couchsurfing is Putting Women* in Danger

I showed up at Giovanni’s home in Portici, Italy last Friday expecting to stay for two nights, and left after only one and a half hours. He seemed kind at first, much like I was expecting him to be, as he showed me around his apartment. We communicated using Google Translate’s conversation tool. But when we went up to the rooftop with a bottle of wine, things changed. He brought me over to a side railing to show me the view of Vesuvius (that I could see perfectly well from where I had been sitting before) and he trapped me between him and the rail with his arms around me, his body pressed against my back.

Wakanda Forever: Anticolonialism as Sustainable Technology

An important aspect within Black Panther’s allegory that seems to be overlooked by mainstream media coverage is the relationship between Black people and the natural world. Indeed Wakanda relies on Vibranium to reach marvelous societal heights, but as we’ve seen historically the mere presence of powerful resources does not inherently make a nation mighty, successful, or good...This film is telling us something crucial about urbanity, sustainability, and nature; anti-colonialism is central in reimagining who engages with our environmental future and how we should do it.