Outdoor Afro opens enrollment for 2024-2025 cohort of nature innovators in neighborhoods nationwide

National not-for-profit organization Outdoor Afro seeks new volunteer leaders to lead local activities that creatively reconnect U.S. neighborhoods to land, water, and wildlife. “The Outdoor Afro volunteer leader is a truly unique community leadership role that has attracted scientists, athletes, farmers, foragers, artists, animal lovers, and adventurers passionate about sharing their expertise,” said Outdoor Afro’s Chief Program & Innovation Officer DD Johnice. “So if you love being out in nature – and crafting unforgettable experiences for friends, family, and your community – join us.” Annually, the organization continues to expand and recruit new volunteer leaders.

For the 2024-2025 cohort year, Outdoor Afro is in pursuit of nature pioneers who care about and have expertise in outdoor recreation; actively engage in lifestyle activities (biking, hiking, trail running, fishing, foraging, farming, watersports) and; want to share their joy and knowledge with Black people in their local community. Outdoor Afro searches for outdoor creatives, educators, and explorers in the following locations: Denver, Colorado; Salt Lake City, Utah; Detroit, Michigan; Cleveland, Ohio; Asheville, North Carolina; Kansas City, Missouri; Dallas, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; Austin, Texas; Houston Texas; Iowa; Wisconsin; Columbus, Ohio; Cincinnati, Ohio; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Tallahassee, Florida; Portland, Oregon; Chicago-NW Indiana, Illinois; and Atlanta, Georgia.


“Outdoor Afro’s volunteer leaders have been incredible stewards of our almost 15-year mission of inspiring and celebrating Black connections and leadership in nature,” said Outdoor Afro’s Program Strategy & Growth Manager Gina Wright. “Through this leadership opportunity, our organization makes sure these outdoor innovators are able to grow their risk management skills; gain access to modern gear and equipment; and participate in our meaningful partnerships to strengthen relationships to nature.”

Outdoor Afro volunteer leaders also receive opportunities to experience free or discounted admission to national parks; contribute to national media stories about the organization; and access annual training at secluded retreat spaces. Once selected, volunteer leaders attend Outdoor Afro Leadership Training (nicknamed OALT) held each year in April at a private nature location in the United States. During this signature training dubbed the brand’s “most wonderful time of the year,” OALT equips volunteer leaders with essential tools to guide their local communities in nature sustainably and safely. 

The training is organized by staff and experienced volunteers who share Outdoor Afro’s history, values, best practices, and industry knowledge, including: trip planning basics, health impacts of nature, conservation ethics, risk management, and effective social media storytelling practices. New leaders learn how to center joy in the outdoors while also disrupting a false perception that Black people do not have a relationship to nature.

Outdoor Afro formed nearly 15 years ago with the mission of celebrating and inspiring Black connections and leadership in nature. The organization established OALT in 2012. With just a dozen volunteer outdoor enthusiasts, OALT became an opportunity for each to take the call and digest directly from Outdoor Afro’s Founder and CEO Rue Mapp. Her nature calling: teaching outdoor innovators how to inspire and guide unforgettable experiences in the outdoors. Are you the next open-air expert Outdoor Afro is looking for?


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 organization. Outdoor Afro’s U.S. networks include nearly 100-plus volunteer leaders who guide nature activities in up to 60 cities with network participation reaching 60,000 people annually. Outdoor Afro reconnects Black people to the outdoors through outdoor education, recreation, and conservation. Follow Outdoor Afro @outdoorafro and outdoorafro.org.