Meet Outdoor Educator for Venture Outdoors Summer Camps: Otavio Wilkinson-Baldauf
by Marcus Shoffner
January 17, 2022. A day of solitude, remembrance, reflection, and centering.
“Be concerned about your brother. You may not be on strike, but either we go up together, or we go down together.” – Martin Luther King Jr. April 4, 1968
As I reflect on the past year, I consider the full array of emotions I’ve experienced, from the overwhelming joy of collaboration for economic progress and industry inclusion to pain from the murder and delay of justice for community members. Such a wide swing of emotions has led to more reflection and humility. I now understand the sacredness of smiles but the empathy of tears due to the plight of my community.
For my work, I envision 2022 as a year of empowerment by continuing to push the boundaries of recreation, expanding the idea of exploration while shifting the systems to provide the freedom of enjoyment. The path forward for me may be different than yours, but I wish you success on your path. Only when it gets dark enough can you see the stars. May it come with the right amount of road bumps, detours, and ultimately a victory that we can celebrate as a community.
May you grow in the places of weakness, excel in the areas of power but stay true to what is ethical. Think outside the status quo and find the freedom to express yourself authentically. “No longer scratching when you didn’t itch and laughing when they weren’t tickle.”
Rest in Peace, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Thank you for seeing the mountain top. May we continue to stretch for the peak that you’ve envisioned.
Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion