Working to make outdoor spaces more welcoming for all in the Fox Valley
In 2020, the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, Fox Cities Greenways, and East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission sponsored a talk by Dudley Edmondson, noted Black outdoorsman, author, and activist, who spoke about the many factors that limit Black and Brown Americans’ interactions with the outdoors. That talk sparked further conversations among attendees about what could be done in the Fox Valley region of Wisconsin to further inclusion in the outdoors and what voices and information were missing from the discussion.
To address this, the Brigade stepped up to host an Americorps position dedicated to research and outreach to historically marginalized populations to better understand challenges and opportunities for the future. The Americorps phase of the project focused on BIPOC and LGBTQ+ people and culminated in a report-out event in August of 2022 featuring preliminary research findings and a panel discussion of residents with diverse lived experience. After receiving strong interest in seeing the work continue, the initiative is moving forward at Multicultural Coalition, Inc.
The summer 2022 research included interviews, focus groups, and a survey designed to better understand Fox Valley marginalized people’s relationships with the outdoors. You can click to enlarge or download the complete 2022 research report here:
The Community Foundation has supported Inclusion in the Outdoors from the beginning and continues to fund the project through a $15,000 grant from the Community Vision Fund.
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