At Venture Outdoors, we work to create a community where people of all backgrounds and abilities are able to enjoy wellness through outdoor activity. The barriers have been laid directly in front of us, and we will confront them head-on. We are not afraid to have the difficult conversations now, so that we can live peacefully and harmoniously in the future.
There are no words to express the array of emotions that we feel in acknowledging the death of George Floyd, and the resulting impact that has ensued. This situation has occurred because the black community has experienced systematic injustices and oppression as the result of hundreds of years of racism in this country.
Venture Outdoors refuses to accept the bigotry of racism and will not tolerate it in any form. We stand in solidarity with the black community.
Our staff has taken the last several days to reflect, communicate, and thoughtfully consider how we as an organization move forward to be productive and supportive to members of our community. We acknowledge as a primarily white staff that we do not have all the answers, and that it will take time for change to take place. However, we are committed to the following action steps to improve ourselves internally and externally:
- We have met collectively as a staff to have open conversation, and to audit ourselves regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- We will continue to perform internal and external audits of our organization, examining and improving upon our diversity and inclusion standards.
- We are encouraging the ongoing education of our staff, providing informational resources and maintaining healthy dialogue.
- We will host equivalent open dialogue amongst the board of directors auditing our membership, strategic priorities and decision-making regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- We will conduct a series of community listening sessions, aiming to open our doors to hear what we can do to best serve the black community moving forward and deliver on our mission to remove barriers and create access to outdoor experiences.
- We are working to identify a strategic partnership to help effect real and lasting change for the black community.
- We will work on our plan to achieve the above and communicate to the community no later than Friday, June 19th with monthly updates on our progress thereafter.
Last, but certainly not least, we speak these names:
Antwon Rose Jr, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling, David McAtee, Ahmaud Arbery, Freddie Gray, George Floyd, Eric Garner, Ezell Ford, Michelle Cusseaux, Tanisha Anderson, Tamir Rice, Natasha McKenna, Walter Scott, Bettie Jones, Philando Castile, Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson, Eric Reason, Dominique Clayton, Breonna Taylor, and countless others. May you rest in peace.
The Venture Outdoors Staff & Board of Directors