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Articles by Rukiya Colvin, Planet Detroit

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This story is published collaboratively with Planet Detroit as part of the Equitable Cities Reporting Hub for Environmental Justice, an initiative led by Grist and Next City.

Detroiter Ian Solomon began building a deep relationship with the outdoors while attending college in Arizona for broadcast journalism. He’d never been in a place with such access to mountains and nature before, and he quickly fell in love.

But during his forays into the wilderness, he often felt like he was entering predominantly white spaces. He soon began to see the outdoors as a privilege to which other Black and Brown people should have access. His efforts led him to launch Amplify Outside, one of several initiatives emerging from Detroit to help eliminate obstacles to people of color accessing nature.

According to a study by the Outdoor Foundation, 72 percent of outdoor participants in 2020 were white. Black and Hispanic Americans are both underrepresented in outdoor recreation activities, and just 38 percent of Black Americans ages six and over participated in 2020, down from 40 percent in 2019.

There are important reasons for this, according to Solomon. “A lo... Read more