In this Gnarly Clinic, Join Kathy Karlo, Brandon Belcher and Genevive Walker as they discuss BIPOC joy, diversity and inclusion in the outdoors.
How can we promote more gender equity in the outdoors?
- Climbers should be comfortable with who they are, regardless of gender
- Setting more fair and thoughtful expectations with how climbers show up at the crag or the gym
- Climbing is a rare sport where men and women are striving towards the same goals, therefore it’s important to acknowledge that gender bias does exist.
What are some examples of eliminating racism in the outdoors?
Encourage your friends and climbing partners to avoid unconscious bias towards other people.
Support fellow climbers with a welcomeness and acceptance, regardless of race or gender. Becoming an advocate for your friends and partners is critical to sharing amazing outdoor experiences with everyone.
Barriers to introducing climbing to the black community
Proximity to the gym or the outdoors is a huge barrier to entry for many people of color. Expanding gyms to neighborhoods that are in primarily black communities is a necessary step to opening and promoting climbing.
What does joy look like through diversity?
Climbing is a super therapeutic and meditative activity for so many people. Climbing creates a calming and peaceful state of mind, which creates joy in life for everyone regardless of skin color or gender.
The ability to escape the noise and pressure of city life is why we love climbing. There is a certain level of peacefulness that comes with climbing and sessioning a boulder.
How to improve black representation in the outdoors?
Community Building & Inclusive Voices
Brand Representation & Fair Compensation
Empathy for others
About Our Athlete Contributors
Based in Atlanta, Georgia Brandon is passionate about land acquisition and access for our climbing communities; DEI and outreach opportunities for the youth.
Genevive is an all-around rock climber, known for giving her all on every single climb. Utterly devoted to climbing, you could see Genevive clipping bolts, plugging gear or tussling above crashpads on any given day—but let her throw some heel hooks and knee-bars on a tufa-forested endurance roof, and she’s really in her element.
Genevive didn’t learn to climb until she was at college, but since then her love for the sport has influenced the course of her life, taking her to new places and new people. As recently qualified rock climbing instructor, Genevive is a passionate about sharing climbing with everyone, and using her qualifications and experience to encourage greater diversity in the climbing community.