When we first started 14 years ago, SheJumps focused on closing the gender gap in the outdoors. Over time our focus has evolved. It was hard for us to break into the ‘outdoor industry’ back then, even as white women laden with privilege from our background, our looks, and our able bodies. No one wanted to take us seriously, and we were laughed at. It's in the reflection of how far we've come which helps us understand that we have a very long way to go. Black and Brown communities, especially women, experience those barriers tenfold.
Today we lean into courageous conversations that address equity and inclusion at every level of our small nonprofit. This month, we’re sharing the vision and plan for SheJumps and that includes a firm foundation in the principles of equitable diversity and inclusion in the outdoor space.
Institutionalizing Anti-Racism Priorities
Your donation helps us to build resources that will directly impact women and girls of color. How? We’re working to raise funds to create a BIPOC-led group that can drive initiatives and funding priorities based on their experiences. To be clear, this is a way to create affinity groups by leveraging the programs, structures, and the charitable status of our organization with the needs and vision driven by women of color as leaders. In addition to our ongoing DEI committee that holds our team accountable to active allyship, combining these two initiatives will work to ensure our programs are affordable, accessible, and culturally competent for communities of color. With additional community partnerships and grant subsidized funding, we want to funnel money directly into the initiatives where it will make the biggest impact.
Last year, we hosted an Ikon Pass nomination contest specifically for women of color. For the past two years, our Snowpack Scholarship program has created dozens of scholarships for women of color to gain avalanche education. But we want to do so much more.
Safe Foundational Experiences in the Outdoors
One of our initial priorities for this work is to grow the access to foundational skiing opportunities for women of color. (Across the board, we are looking at our programs and asking ourselves “How would someone get to this level?”) With the example of skiing, how can someone expect to safely learn about exploring the backcountry on skis if they don’t have the skills to ski safely in the first place? Furthermore, how could one hope to obtain a job in the ski industry such as ski patroller or avalanche forecaster if they do not have the mentorship, educational experience, or access to expensive avalanche training? How do you access deals on skiing, and what resources are there to safely learn?
From listening to people in our community, we know you want to help, too. We believe that by raising not just awareness, but actual funds, we can work to build more than just access to the outdoors, but an entire network of mentorship by investing in BIPOC women, and BIPOC-led initiatives.
Support SheJumps so we can continue to transform fear of failure into fearless action through impactful programs and events.
Will you consider making a $10 monthly recurring donation to help SheJumps? We need your help to reach and inspire more girls and women. We want to show all women and girls that nature provides a way for us to become comfortable with challenges; helping us to become resilient in the face of adversity. Our free and low-cost programs ensure that ALL women and girls have access to the outdoors, regardless of age, background, ethnicity, or race.
If you set up a convenient monthly donation of $10 or more to help SheJumps, we’ll send you a gift from EcoLips! As an added bonus, you’ll also be entered to win some amazing prizes from our generous partners.
Join us. Spread the word. Make a donation. It ALL makes a difference when we jump together.