Basementeer Spotlight: Outdoor Afro

Outdoor Afro Group members posed for photo in the desert.

We're honored to be one of Outdoor Afro's partners through our Basementeer Program. We cannot wait until group gatherings are safe so we can support Outdoor Afro members in getting outside through our Sports Basement Outdoors program! Learn more about Outdoor Afro from their organizers below:

Photo of a group of Outdoor Afro leaders at a training event.


Where Black People and Nature Meet: Started by Rue Mapp as a blog about her passion for nature in 2009, Outdoor Afro has since grown into a cutting-edge nationwide network with 90 volunteer leaders in 30 states guiding hundreds of outdoor events each year based on a simple mission to celebrate and inspire African American connections to nature through recreational activities like camping, hiking, birding, fishing, gardening, skiing—and more!




  • Disrupted the false perception that Black people do not have a relationship with nature
  • Shifted the visual representation of who can connect with and lead in the outdoors
  • Worked to restore outdoor leadership back to the home
  • In 2018, we held our first international expedition to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania - which was widely covered in the media

Outdoor Afro Members liked up facing away from the camera and holding up their fists.

Our profile continues to grow with featured coverage in the Wall Street Journal, O Magazine, ABC News, Ebony, Outside Magazine, Backpacker Magazine, The Weather Channel, and many other media outlets.


In 2020, Outdoor Afro is:

  • Cultivating and training a team of 90 outdoor leaders
  • Leading over 1,000 events - virtual and in-person
  • Reaching well over 40,000 participants in 30 states
  • Continuing policy and advocacy work
  • Hiking with Oprah Winfrey
  • Engaging millions of people through our digital outreach

3 Outdoor Afro women leaders posing for a photo

Follow them on social and visit their website for updates and to sign up for their newsletter.


Our 2020 national leadership training and summit was hosted virtually. The inspirational training brought together 90 leaders from around the country enabling us to offer many more activities and engage thousands more people this year. Also, we will deepen our conversation with legislators and policy makers to ensure equitable access to nature for all and increased conservation awareness. We have three key goals this year:


While committed to being lean and using technology to amplify our work, Outdoor Afro’s growth requires our organization to invest in expanding our capacity and systems. We need to build on our core support from corporate, foundation and individual donors and partners to expand our reach, train more leaders, and succeed in reconnecting Black people to the outdoors.


Outdoor Afro has successfully used social media such as Facebook and Meet Up to build a strong network with a small core organization. In the coming year we are looking for partners to help us upgrade our digital presence, developing an Outdoor Afro platform that allows users to find outdoor events near them whether at home or on the road and to make deeper connections with each other and partners.


As we scale up our work to achieve our ambitious goal of connecting with 50,000 people in 2020, we know that this will only be accomplished by collaborating. Along with increasing the number of leaders and outdoor events, Outdoor Afro is seeking to expand its reach through partnerships with corporate, non-profit and government agencies.


Outdoor Afro Members in kayaks on a lake.

We need your help to protect, restore and repair relationships between people and nature.



Outdoor Afro lifts up community leadership and expands connections between people and nature through outdoor recreation.

Outdoor Afro members posing for a group photo holding up the flag with their logo.

Your tax-deductible donations help broaden their reach and leadership in communities around the country so more people can help take care of themselves, our communities, and our planet! You can help support by making them your Basementeer Beneficiary and donating to them directly below:

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