On this #Juneteenth we are witnessing the world wake up to the reality of systemic racism in America. As a small but growing outdoor apparel company, we at Pang Wangle are asking ourselves: 𝙃𝙤𝙬 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙬𝙚 𝙝𝙚𝙡𝙥 𝙗𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙡 𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚?
To begin with, we will be donating monthly throughout 2020 to GirlTrek, an outdoor focused national organization of “Black women committed to reclaiming holistic lives rooted in wellness and radical self-care.”
GirlTrek Mission: Pioneer a health movement for African-American women and girls grounded in civil rights history and principles through walking campaigns, community leadership, and health advocacy.
We will also begin a monthly series of stories profiling outdoorsy women of color, starting with our own Business Development Director Vanessa Blais (pictured above camping in California this spring). Vanessa has hiked and camped from coast to coast. She even drove an RV from Los Angeles to the Canadian Rockies. Along with great adventures and funny mishaps, Vanessa has experienced real apprehension, sometimes fear, showing up in nature as the only Black woman for miles and miles around.
One of the hardest things for me to unpack during the past few weeks is how I have approached my love of the outdoors. It's at the core of my self-care but I know hiking while black can be dangerous. It's a mixed bag of friendly nods and hellos and a scattering of "Why are you here?" But I show up and take up space because we all have a right to safely hike the trails, take in the oceans and be one under sun.
Vanessa’s story goes up on this blog next week. We believe in the power of stories and the transformative power of nature. We hope you’ll join us in supporting GirlTrek and other organizations contributing to this zeitgeist of social justice that is so overdue in America.