Our Blog

24 AprBearing witness to painful stories


Similar to when Camber Outdoors unveiled its 2019 Pledge, we (Ava and Aparna) have had a lot of thoughts and ideas swirling around in our heads as the #WontTakeSHIFTAnymore campaign has rolled out. We have brains that tend to go into a mode that we lovingly call, “entropic processing overdrive,” in which we have a million constellations of thoughts on several planes, without much of a logical pathway. But in all of that chaotic processing, we both keep coming back to two things: one related to the substance of campaign, and the other re...

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06 FebWhen you fail to do the work


A statement by the founders of the Avarna Group. As a company, we’ve been quiet about the announcement of the Camber Outdoors CEO pledge over the past few days, but not for lack of thoughts about the whole situation. On the contrary, we’ve been teeming with thoughts. In between flights, workshops, and phone calls we’ve been trying to put it all together. If you're unsure what we're talking about, you can catch up here. In 2018, we intentionally kept quiet during announcement of Teresa Baker’s pledge and Camber’s announcement of ...

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20 DecAnother year around the sun


  Dear colleagues and friends, 2017 has been another momentous year for the Avarna Group. We want to thank you for continuing to support us, inspire us, and serve as champions for a more socially and environmentally just world. Here's our year in numbers: 101 days of travel 32 places 55 partners since we launched: 35 new partners this year 2 new Avarna team members (José González and Katie Koga) Support of 2 identity-specific summits (PGM ONE & the LGBTQ Outdoor Summit) This summer, we welcomed Katie ...

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25 Sep“But we’ve always said ‘biner!’” exclusionary words in outdoor recreation and education


Actually written by Guest Contributor Monserrat Alvarez [caption id="attachment_2568" align="alignleft" width="225"] Monserrat (Guachichil/Mexica) is an outdoor educator from the South who works for a more equitable and inclusive Outdoors. She currently works at cityWILD as their program assistant where she combines her love for the Outdoors, youth development, and social justice.[/caption] The ways we show up for communities and marginalized folks starts with our words. Our words hold power. Our words have impact. We cannot use ignorance...

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19 SepNature’s calling — for diversity to be about more than just race


Dear CNN, Like many colleagues, we were thrilled to see that the topic of diversity in the outdoors has made it to mainstream media with your article “Nature's calling -- for more human diversity.” And we were even more pleased to see so many partners and friends gaining a national platform for this very important conversation, and contributing some key insights. AND . . . we would be remiss if we didn’t say a big “yes, and . . .” to add to and complicate the oversimplified narrative that you and other media outlets continue to prop...

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21 AugConnection the dots: white supremacy and monuments


In the wake of Charlottesville this past weekend, I have been thinking quite a bit about how these events connect to the work our partners and clients do. So, in this third installment of our “connecting the dots,” series, we’d like to talk about monuments and memorials. Last week the Unite the Right movement rallied against the dismantling of a confederate monument that Charlottesville, Virginia’s residents had voted to take down. The argument for dismantling a Confederate monument seems to be an easy one that is long overdue– the...

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24 MayEquity means supporting single identity spaces


We know diversity allows organizations to think out of the box, be more creative and innovative, problem-solve better and see around corners. But leading with diversity can undermine equity, especially when it comes to single identity experiences for people with marginalized identities. To be clear, today we're talking about single-identity spaces for people with marginalized identities. Single identity spaces for white folks or men, for example, is another topic for another blog post. Here, we’re referring to spaces created by and for pe...

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09 MarWe’re expanding – welcome José!


Photo credit: Glenn Nelson at Trail Posse Friends and colleagues, We are thrilled to announce that José Gonzalez is joining the Avarna Group! We are so grateful to be able to learn from José, who brings a wealth of experience in conservation, outdoor and traditional education, and facilitation. José's name probably rings a bell with most of you, as he has had a tremendous impact on the conversation surrounding relevancy, equity, inclusion, and diversity in the outdoors in the recent past. José is the founder and Executive Direct...

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08 FebConnecting the dots: what do immigration rights have to do with the environmental movement?


Art featured above by Ernesto Yerena Montejano Grab some snacks. This is a longer than a usual blog post, but we think all of it matters. Last July, we wrote a blog post connecting Black Lives Matter to the environmental movement. In our second installment of the Connecting the Dots series, we are connecting issues of immigration and refugees to the environmental movement. In case you haven’t been keeping up with the news, President Trump has issued a flurry of troubling executive orders, including three that relate to immigration and ...

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18 JanWhat Does President Obama’s Memo Mean for You?


Implementing President Obama's Memo on Diversity & Inclusion in Public Lands & Waters Dear valued partners and friends: We’re writing to announce that we’ve created a new free toolkit that we hope will help all of you. As many of you know, last Thursday, President Obama made an impactful statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion in our public lands and waters when he issued his Memorandum on Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in Our National Parks, National Forests, and Other Public Lands and Water. The memo directs fede...

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