We firmly stand behind the construct that it is not enough to be not racist, we must all work intentionally every day to be anti-racist. As Ibram Kendi says,
“The opposite of racist isn't 'not racist.' It is 'anti-racist.' What's the difference? One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an anti-racist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an anti-racist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an anti-racist. There is no in-between safe space of 'not racist.”
This page is intended as a resource for our community to highlight voices we're listening to and share the actions we're taking as a company to practice anti-racism. There are many valuable organizations and individuals doing critical work in the area of social justice and black equality; below, we are highlighting some who speak specifically to the relationship of race in the outdoors.
We extend our gratitude to the Suquamish Tribe for providing the below language to respectfully acknowledge the land our gyms are located on. You can also find this located near the entrances of our gyms.
"Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plan and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished." - Chief Seattle, 1854
We would like to begin by acknowledging that the land on which our Bainbridge and Bremerton gyms are located is within the aboriginal territory of the Suquamish People. Expert fisherman, canoe builders and basket weavers, the Suquamish live in harmony with the lands and waterways along Washington's Central Salish Sea as they have for thousands of years. Here, the Suquamish live and protect the land and waters of their ancestors for future generations as promised by the Point Elliot Treaty of 1855.
Social Justice and the Outdoor Industry
Many in our communities have enjoyed a deeply profound relationship with outdoor spaces, and feel passionate about sharing that joy. However, not all bodies enjoy the same access or safety in outdoor spaces, not only at our climbing crags, but birdwatching, fishing, or even jogging down the street. The outdoor industry, from clothing and gear to who manages the land, was largely created for and by white people. There is much work to do to promote diversity and equity in access to the outdoors.
While we are passionate about ensuring inclusivity in the outdoors, we are most passionate about ensuring basic human rights for all people: Insight Climbing & Movement is committed to supporting efforts ending violence, bias, and discrimination in all forms and in all places due to race, gender identity, or sexual orientation. This includes collectively acknowledging the existence of and damage caused by a history of systemic racism, and actively working to dismantle it in ourselves and those we interact with. Until black, native, people of color, transgender and queer people feel safe in our society, we cannot expect them to feel safe in outdoor spaces.
We acknowledge and take responsibility for needing to do more and better in our efforts to dismantle racism around us, and specifically in the climbing industry. We will continue updating this page with our work...for now, we:
Host monthly climbing events through Climbers of Color to support a diverse climbing community.
Promote diverse hiring practices and educate management & staff on diversity, equity, and inclusivity.
Donate to organizations doing important work. In addition to the tens of thousands of dollars in cash, products and services we have donated to organizations since we opened in 2013, including local and national organizations.
Host climbing events for underrepresented communities (Women's Climb Night).
Voices We Listen To
Books About Diversity in Outdoor Spaces
The Adventure Gap by James Edward Mills
Black Faces, White Spaces by Carolyn Finney
Trace: Memory, History, Race and the American Landscape by Lauret Savoy
The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World collection of essays edited by Lauret Savoy and Alison Hawthorn Deming
The Rise of the American Conservation Movement by Dorceta Taylor
Black and Brown Faces in America's Wild Places by Dudley Edmondson
Toxic Communities: Environmental Racism, Industrial Pollution, and Residential Mobility by Dorceta Taylor