Rue Mapp on Nature as the Great Equalizer /69


Rue Mapp is pioneering a movement of equity and justice in the outdoor recreation and environmental movement. Outdoor Afro has become the nation’s leading network that celebrates and inspires African American connections and leadership in nature, letting people know that they are welcome in the outdoors to build community and find healing. Outdoor Afro is as much about representation as it is about paradigm shifts. Rue and her team are alchemizing the painful lineages of separation and trauma, to tell a story rooted in Black joy and seeking refuge in nature.

“I think about the Redwoods who were all clearcut, and now those trees are all second and third growth—that is the story of regeneration. I think nature holds those stories of relief. Nature relieves the stress of racism that we all feel. The trees don’t know what color I am. The birds don’t know what gender is. The flowers don’t know how much money I have in my bank account. I think we can rely on nature to be the equalizer for us so we can shed that weight. The possibility is there for us.”-- Rue Mapp

This episode is in collaboration with the Geography of Hope Conference, where Rue will be keynote speaker March 17 + 18 in Point Reyes, California.

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