During the month of March, we’re continuing to work alongside several other outdoor industry and national park-related content creators, to feature a new non-profit organization. Love Is King performs vital work to help diversify our public lands and make nature a safe space for all people.
Below, you’ll find information about Love Is King and how you can support their work and get involved in their mission. We hope you find inspiration in their incredible efforts towards a more equitable and just world where “the freedom to roam in nature is a basic human right.”
THIS MONTH'S ORGANIZATION:
Love Is King is a non-profit founded in 2021 by Chad Brown. Love Is King started by recognizing the systemic racism and oppression people of color have faced generation after generation, including outdoor spaces. While recreating and spending time outdoors has incredible health benefits, both physically and mentally, history shows that people of color have not had equal opportunity and access to these spaces.
Love Is King views access to the outdoors as a human right, knowing that all people deserve to benefit from what nature has to offer. Their mission is to create a humanitarian movement, through love, empathy and respect, where all children, families and communities of color can have equitable and safe access to the outdoors.
“Love Is King Squashes The Fear In The Outdoors And Provides Equitable Access And Resolute Safety To Ensure An Enriching And Exhilarating Experience In Nature.”
Follow + Share:
You can support Love Is King by following them on social media and sharing the movement on your social media platforms. By recognizing the need for equal access and safety for everyone in the outdoors, sharing about the movement or showing up to a Heritage Event, you are greatly supporting the movement of Love Is King.
About Love is King Programs
After completion of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training, government entities, corporations, non-profits, and individuals who are looking to be a part of building equitable and safe space in the outdoors for BIPOC can become LIK Guardians. LIK serves as an action platform to give white allies a chance to support and foster safe spaces outdoors for BIPOC communities.
As a collective collaboration between community members, partners, organizations, and allies, the LIK movement works towards equitable and safe access to the outdoors for everyone.
LIK Guardians are community leaders, veterans, CEOs, ministers, etc. who have the resources to help support the BIPOC community by offering education, training, logistics, and more to support the LIK movement.
By signing the Diversity of Declaration, both individuals and organizations state the importance of access to and safety in the great outdoors for BIPOC communities.
Heritage Events + LIK Champions
Heritage Events are outdoor experiences that capture the history, culture, and storytelling of people from the past, who have broken barriers for others in celebration of people of different cultures. These events create a space and bias-free space for BIPOC communities to feel comfortable and welcome in the outdoors. The ultimate goal of these events is to ensure individuals, families, and communities have the freedom to roam further without fear in the outdoors.
Love Is King also serves as a platform for young leaders with the belief that tomorrow’s voice is built upon the compassion, energy, and determination of today’s youth. The LIK Champion Program fosters education and inspiration to empower the new generation who champion environmental stewardship, racial equality, social justice, and empathetic leadership.
LIK Champions facilitate and support LIK programs and events “on the ground” at local, state, and national levels. Through their work with LIK, they gain social skills, environmental education, interpersonal and leadership skills, outdoor experiences, and the opportunity for conservation jobs.
About the Love is King Founder
Love Is King founder Chad Brown is a U.S. Navy veteran, photographer, creative director, conservationist, adventurer, and founder of his first non-profit organization, Soul River Inc. His work has taken him around the globe and his adventure photography often focuses on documenting vulnerable wild spaces and their inhabitants.
He advocates for social and environmental justice, with a passion for working with indiginious nations and promoting equal access to public lands for everyone. As an outdoorsman, Chad has experienced firsthand how nature can help heal, as he suffers from PTSD from his service overseas during the Gulf War’s Operation Desert and Operation Restore Hope.
His struggles with PTSD lead him to the founding of his first non-profit, Soul River Inc., an organization that connects inner city youth and military veterans to outdoor experiences. The driving force behind that organization is the belief that these connections in nature will inspire and establish a new generation of outdoor leaders and conservation advocates.
Brown currently resides in Portland, Oregon and is a board member of the National Wildlife Refuge Association. He has been featured in national publications and broadcasts such as the BBC and Outside Magazine. In 2015, he was the first recipient of the Breaking Barriers Award presented by Orvis.
ABOUT DIVERSE NPS
As outdoor enthusiasts and lovers of America’s parks, we’ve experienced the benefits of connecting with nature and our diverse landscapes. From city parks where we can get a taste of green amid cemented city blocks, to recharging strolls and hikes in the millions of acres of our state parks, to treks and climbs in the breathtaking landscapes in our national parks, the chance to be in nature is an experience we hold invaluable.
Undoubtedly, our lands should be enjoyed by all of us, but when we look into who is getting access to our lands, we see alarmingly disproportionate statistics that highlight a gap between race and park visitations. When we examine the reasons why these gaps are present—access, education, resources, discrimination and prejudice—we understand that systemic racism in our country is the major contributor to these disappointing disproportions.
In the National Park System, for example, Black Americans make up about 7 percent of visitors, while they are 13 percent of the U.S. population. Moreover, 78 percent of visitors are White.
The end of the Jim Crow era in 1968, showcases that Black American generations have only recently gained the freedom and liberty to move around this country. Still today, minorities face prejudice and discrimination within our outdoor spaces and, often, cannot safely and comfortably enjoy outdoor recreation.
AS PARK ENTHUSIASTS AND ADVOCATES OF SPENDING TIME IN NATURE, WE ARE COMMITTED TO ADDRESSING RACISM WITHIN OUR INDUSTRY.
To do so, we are taking action to use our platforms to contribute to the progress that is much needed within the outdoor space and community.
As a part of this community, Park Chasers will join with others in highlighting organizations that are dedicated to bridging the race gap in the outdoor space by connecting opportunities and experiences to people of color.
Each month, we are featuring and focusing on one organization, with the intent to showcase their hard work, raise awareness and support them through funding and donations. We’ll share monthly articles and social media posts along with links for how you can donate.