Listen now to About Health (11/21) with my guest Rue Mapp on KPFA.org— 94.1FM
“A growing body of research points to the beneficial effects that exposure to the natural world has on health, reducing stress, and promoting healing. Now, policymakers, employers, and healthcare providers are increasingly considering the human need for nature in how they plan and operate.” —Jim Robbins, published at the Yale School of the Environment.
Candidly documenting her personal experiences, while shifting and pioneering a new visual representation of Black people in the outdoors, Rue Mapp transformed her kitchen table blog into a national nature business, and movement. Today, she’s the founder and CEO of where Black people and nature meet: Outdoor Afro. For more than a decade, the not-for-profit organization has continued to celebrate and inspire Black connections and leadership in nature across the United States. Although Rue’s work in the outdoor industry may have started in her hometown of Oakland, California, her story and the creation of Outdoor Afro has since grown to inspire international headlines. Her just published book, Nature Swagger, Stories and Visions of Black Joy in the Outdoors, is a universal roadmap to discover delights, joy, and possibilities of transformation, for anyone through nature. Today, Rue is also a co-creator of a hike collection with outdoor retailer REI Co-op, through her for-profit business Outdoor Afro, Inc.