Outdoor Afro fundraiser reunites for ‘Homecoming’

Written By Candace Dantes

Published on Oct 6, 2022

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – National not-for-profit Outdoor Afro brings back its annual fundraising event in the physical. Glamp Out 2022 takes place Friday, Oct. 14, and is fittingly themed “Homecoming.” “After two-years of having to do virtual events because of the pandemic, we are coming home in community with one another for our first in-person event since 2019,”  said Rue Mapp, Founder and CEO of Outdoor Afro. “This is not your dad’s conservation gala, either.”

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The Academy Awards-inspired occasion is held at Scott’s Jack London Square this year from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with the goal of raising more than $300,000 to support the organization’s year-long programs. Hosted by former Oakland broadcaster Dana King and featuring Golden State Warriors “Hypeman Auctioneer” Franco Finn for 2022, the occasion welcomes the outdoor community into an elegant evening like no other, said Mapp. Outdoor industry leaders, elected officials, celebrities, and cultural champions join to support the network’s mission: celebrate and inspire Black connections and leadership in nature.

Glamp Out is also an opportunity for the national nature-based community as a whole to exercise philanthropy: “Too often, we think about Black people in philanthropic and not-for-profit organizations as just the recipients or beneficiaries of program efforts,” Mapp said, “but we also are the ones giving and empowering organizations like Outdoor Afro to be in service of our community.”

The fundraiser not only deliberately strengthens the community and celebrates Outdoor Afro’s wins in the outdoors. It shares hope and encouragement to continue to change the narrative of who leads in nature while nurturing Black philanthropic efforts. Gala highlights for 2022 will include: TURFinc dance culture entertainment; Youth Speaks artists and educators; Oakland High School jazz band trio; “Partner of the Year” CLIF BAR®; “Lifetime Achievement” award recipient the late Dr. Nina S. Roberts; and “Leader of the Year” Stephen Scott.

Funds raised throughout the night will go toward outdoor education for Outdoor Afro’s volunteer leaders like Stephen. The network selects and trains volunteer leaders annually through Outdoor Afro Leadership Training to guide local communities in outdoor activities safely and sustainably. What started as a dozen volunteer outdoor enthusiasts in 2012 is now more than 100 volunteer leaders who lead neighborhood adventures like biking, hiking, gardening, kayaking, and ice climbing across the United States.

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Glamp Out also supports Outdoor Afro’s Making Waves program. The swim program offers “Swimmerships™” or swim lesson scholarships during the summer months. Outdoor Afro launched Making Waves in 2019 to address the alarming number of Black children who drown today tied to the historic prohibition of Black access to beaches and public swimming pools.

“We know that if a child doesn’t know how to swim, they likely aren’t going to care about plastic in the ocean,” Mapp said. “The planet needs us to be in relationship with water. For Outdoor Afro, it’s all about relationships. Glamp Out is a fantastic way to celebrate those relationships while also helping to support the work that has a life-saving impact in our community.”

ABOUT OUTDOOR AFRO: Outdoor Afro is a national not-for-profit organization that celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature. What started as a kitchen table blog by Founder and CEO Rue Mapp in 2009 has since grown into a cutting-edge nationwide network with 100-plus volunteer leaders in 60 cities with network participation reaching 60,000 people. Outdoor Afro reconnects Black people with the outdoors through outdoor education, recreation, and conservation. Follow Outdoor Afro at outdoorafro.org and @outdoorafro today.

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Candace Dantes

Candace Dantes

Candace Dantes serves as Outdoor Afro's inaugural marketing and communications manager. The fourth-generation cowgirl and award-winning journalist and marketer is based in the Georgia Black Belt Region. For more than a decade, the rural Georgia storyteller has given agency to Black farming and cowhand culture in traditional and new media. From Smalltown USA, she has collaborated with global brands like London's Black Beauty & Hair Magazine and M&C Saatchi. Back home with U.S. Department of Agriculture research grant Black Farmers' Network, Wrangler, Justin Boots and Visit Fort Worth.