On January 20-22, 2017, join Outdoor Afro as We Find Resilience in Nature
Written By National Program Director Zoë Polk
Some of our favorite musicians, poets, and activists remind us to look to nature for lessons on how to rise in the face of tough conditions.
“You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.”
These lyrics, quotes and speeches serve as sources of inspiration and restoration on our journeys.
“You are not judged from the height you have risen, but from the depth you have climbed.”
In the quiet of nature, we sing their words to ourselves and are instantly connected to our world.
“Rise up this mornin’
Smiled with the risin’ sun
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true”
Most importantly, we understand that to #RiseUp is a daily practice. And that nature provides infinite examples of how this act sustains life.
“And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up.”
On January 20, Outdoor Afro, in solidarity with communities across the world, will reflect on President Barack Obama’s legacy, and in particular, his 8 years of environmental stewardship. During his tenure, Obama has created or expanded 24 National Monuments, including Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument, Pullman Porter National Monument, the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument and the Charles Young Buffalo Soldier National Monument. He has protected 550 million acres during his time in office, covering more acreage than any other president.
As his presidency ends, we acknowledge that there is some wilderness ahead. We invite you to join us as we enter this new territory in the same way that we approach every wild space: relying on Black history as our compass, singing Nature Freedom Songs, nurturing seeds of hope, coming into bloom together, and reaching for the sunlight.
“Inauguration” is defined as the beginning or introduction of system, policy or period. It can take the form of a ceremony launching the start of something. On January 20-22, 2017, Outdoor Afro will hold ceremony in nature. We invite you to #RiseUp with us and take action in the following ways:
1. Visit a National Monuments designated by President Obama, honoring his legacy as an environmental steward.
2. Take a family friendly Healing Hike, including beach walks, sunrise hikes, and snowshoes among winter blooms, focusing on what nature teaches us about resilience
3. Spend the entire day in the wilderness- climbing to mountaintops, seeing the forest for the trees, and laying down your burden down by the riverside