Episode 16: The Outdoor Retailer Experience

I had the chance to attend the biggest conference in the U.S. for outdoor brands, media and retailers.  It was an eye opening experience for someone like me who's new as an entrepreneur and media in the industry.  Find out the main takeaways from the experience as a newbie.

The article referenced in the podcast: When Money is the Bottom Line: The Inclusion Problem in the Outdoor Industry

I also had an opportunity to give a two minute speech as part of a panel that spoke about inclusion.  Here's the full version of my speech:

 

OR VENTURE OUT PANEL

Our Home: A New Vision for the Outdoors

Tool: Passport

 

What is this tool (passport) worth to you?

To me, this passport is a key to my survival

To feel secure and validated

That I too have a place in America

And that the outdoors you and I play, lead, or work in is also my home

I spent 12 years hiking in the mountains within U.S. and 19 years trekking globally

And brought groups of men and women from various backgrounds with me

I’m now a full-time entrepreneur and a mountain nomad

My alter ego is Brown Gal Trekker

In launching my social enterprise that markets treks all over the world,

I realized my identity is the brand

It isn’t the product itself - The allure of traveling and hiking

It’s me

 When people discreetly question my abilities because I’m a woman,

A person of color and an immigrant

When no one else who looks like me can be found in any leadership positions in the outdoors,

I take refuge in this (passport).

Can I be honest with you?

I don’t think you and I are clueless about our prejudices and biases

Neither are we clueless about the notion of inclusion as a critical goal for humanity

As an immigrant, person of color, and a woman – I want you to know from my vantage point

That inclusion is not a far-fetched notion

It’s only a matter of you being one thing-

Willing

Are you willing to use this (passport) to travel the world?

Are you willing to experience first-hand how it’s like to be black, brown, yellow or someone who comes from a shithole country?

Are you willing to come back to America with a new definition of “American” in the outdoors?

Are you willing to use this (passport) as a symbol of unity and inclusion between us?

No matter what you do, be authentic in your effort to include.

Include me

Not because I’m part of your marketing plan

Not because everyone's doing it on Instagram

But because in the very core of you

You believe it’s the right thing to do.

Only then can we have an aligned vision for the future of the outdoors

One that has inclusivity based on morality, not money or power.

Marinel DeJesusComment