February 12th 2024.
Kameron Stanton and Chevon Linear, a dynamic duo based in Chicago, are the creative minds behind Black People Outside, an online space dedicated to showcasing their outdoor adventures. It all started when they discovered Thatcher Woods, a picturesque nature preserve just outside of the city. With its beautiful views and beginner-friendly hiking trails, Thatcher Woods is also home to the Trailside Museum of National History. And so, their love for nature and the outdoors was ignited.
Their popular online platform was born from a life-changing trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. As Linear puts it, "Kam actually planned the trip, so he's the culprit behind the existence of Black People Outside." And what a good culprit he is. They were both a bit nervous about venturing into unknown territory, but their excitement and desire to share their experiences with others outweighed any fears they had.
"We were really scared when we first started," Linear admits. "There was this little bit of fear in both of us because we had never done anything like that before." But as they embarked on their journey, the couple found joy and a sense of peace that they wanted to share with others. However, they couldn't ignore the lack of representation in the outdoor community. "We also noticed that there weren't too many folks like us," Stanton recalls.
According to a report by Black In The Park, only about 6% of Black people visit national parks each year. The reasons for this are varied, including concerns about safety, lack of representation, exclusion of Black history, and not feeling welcome. Linear hopes to change this by introducing more Black people to outdoor activities through Black People Outside.
The couple hosts monthly hikes for Black Chicagoans, inviting them to join them on some of the most scenic trails in the Midwest. Their Instagram page has gained over 45K followers, showcasing various camping sites and outdoor trails within a few hours of the city. They hope to inspire others to explore and connect with nature.
In addition to their online platform, the newly engaged couple has also established a 501c3 nonprofit agency. Their goal is to provide free outdoor gear to members of their community, making it more accessible for everyone to enjoy the great outdoors. As they continue to inspire and uplift others, Black People Outside is truly making a positive impact on the outdoor community. As their Instagram bio states: "We're creating a new narrative for Black people in the outdoors." And that is exactly what they are doing.
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