by Rona | Jul 31, 2019 | Announcements, KPFA, Podcasts, Radio Shows
9/16/19 my guest was Rue Mapp, on KPFA.org, 94.1FM for a lively conversation about the history of Outdoor Afro and why time outdoors is so vital for people’s well being.
“Outdoor Afro is at the forefront of helping more people, particularly African Americans, equitably reconnect with the natural world through Outdoor Recreation. Outdoor Afro activates networks in nearly 30 states, led by trained volunteer leaders who facilitate activities such as hiking, biking, camping, environmental education, conservation stewardship, and more. These activities promote not only a healthy lifestyle, they also help communities find healing, connect to black history found in many natural areas, and inspire an increased desire to protect vulnerable public lands for all to enjoy.”
Rue Mapp is the Founder and CEO of Outdoor Afro, a national not-for-profit organization with offices in Oakland, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. She oversees a carefully selected and trained national volunteer leadership team of 80 men and women who represent 30 states around the US, and shares opportunities to build a broader community and leadership in nature. Her important work has generated widespread national recognition and support. Since Outdoor Afro’s inception in 2009 as a blog, Rue has captured the attention and support of millions through a multi-media approach that is grounded in personal connections and community organizing. From its grassroots beginning, Outdoor Afro now enjoys national sponsorship and is recognized by major organizations for its role in addressing the ongoing need for greater diversity in the outdoors. In 2010, Mapp was invited to the White House to participate in the America’s Great Outdoors Conference, and subsequently to take part in a think-tank to inform the launch of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” initiative. She was appointed program officer for the Stewardship Council’s Foundation for Youth Investment to oversee its grant-making program from 2010-2012. Since that time, Rue’s work and op-eds have been featured in publications including The Wall Street Journal, Backpacker Magazine, Seattle Times, Los Angeles Times, Ebony Magazine, Sunset Magazine, NPR, and many others. Rue’s work has also been recognized with numerous awards and distinctions, including: The Root 100 as one of the most influential African Americans in the country (2012 and 2016), Outdoor Industry Inspiration Award, National Wildlife Federation Communication award and Family Circle Magazine selected Rue as one of America’s 20 Most Influential Moms. She remains in high demand to speak around the country and in Canada about her innovative approach that has successfully connected thousands, especially from the African American community, to nature and the benefits of spending more time outdoors. She is proud to serve on the Outdoor Industry Association and The Wilderness Society boards. In 2014, Rue was appointed to the California State Parks Commission by Governor Jerry Brown. A graduate of UC Berkeley, her skills and background make her a unique voice via the leadership and programs she has instituted through OA, enlightening a diverse community to the wonders and benefits of the outdoors. Rue resides in Vallejo, CA and is the proud mother of three young adults.