The death of George Floyd and the public grieving and outrage of this senseless loss of life has again laid bare the cruelties, injustices, and disparities that have been an ugly part of our history for generations. Although no words can address the pain and grief, we offer our compassion and support as we collectively work to find justice, healing, and build a safe and inclusive community for all.
Wilderness Inquiry’s mission and values are grounded in the spirit of building and supporting a community of inclusiveness and equality—perhaps idealistic and simplistic, but it comes from the heart and our convictions. The labels and subconscious bias we place on people melt away during a shared experience in a canoe or hike—teamwork and wonder over the beauty and calm that Mother Nature instills opens up hearts and minds, at least in that experience. We discover our common humanity. But we can and must do more.
We acknowledge that we enter this conversation from a place of privilege, and therefore approach this with humility, compassion, and a recognition of that privilege. We know we will never truly understand the hurt, anger, and injustices from racism that has pained our community. And all the more reason we are committed to stand behind the brave souls whose voices must be heard.
We know this message of solidarity and our words are not nearly enough. We need to take action. We need to change. We must fiercely listen and learn from those directly impacted by deep racism, discrimination, and resulting disparities too prevalent in our community. We stand as allies as we all work to address the systemic changes our community and our country desperately needs.
Martin Luther King said, “In a real sense all life is interrelated. All people are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
We offer our commitment to solidarity as a first step in embracing our interrelatedness. This is only a first step, as it will be a long road of healing and change. But we are committed. We are ready to do our part as we collectively create a more inclusive, fair, and peaceful community.
-Kim Keprios, Executive Director