Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.
Looking Forward As We Honor His Past
This year, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy feels more relevant than ever. His peaceful fight for civil rights and social justice is an invaluable guidepost for our country and, unfortunately, one we often fail to meet. We can do better. So this year, we’re observing MLK Day by reaffirming our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
In the summer of 2020, we signed the Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge, committing to strive for stronger representation and inclusion for people of color in the outdoor industry. In the spirit of MLK, Jr. and the many leaders who have followed in his footsteps, we’ve been actively working on increasing the diversity of our staff and leadership, partnering with more ambassadors and organizations of color, and telling stories that empower everyone to envision themselves getting outside.
Every month, our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Working Group meets to continue to advance our Inclusion Roadmap, taking steps to grow both internally and externally. We know that a lot of this work starts with us, and we’ve made strides in increasing the diversity of our hiring program and leadership team, as well as started an internship program that works with Historically Back Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). We’ve also forged new partnerships, sponsoring backpacking trips through Black Folks Camp Too, donating gear to Greening Youth Foundation, and matching donations for the #BlackToTheTrails5k that supported HBCUs Outside.
MLK, Jr. fought for what he believed in for many years before he started to see results, tackling deep-rooted prejudice with patience and perseverance. We recognize that we, too—as a brand and as part of the outdoor industry—have many miles to go. To honor MLK, Jr.’s legacy, we’ll continue to partner with advocates who’ve been doing this work for years and keep asking how we can support them as we push ourselves to be part of the solution. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. :
“I don’t know what will happen now; we’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter to me now because I’ve been to the mountaintop … I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.”
So on this very momentous MLK Day, we invite you to join us on our path as we strive for the highest standards in equity and inclusion within the outdoors and beyond, and we thank you for holding us accountable.