I just wrote my first official article and I am overjoyed to be a part of something bigger than myself. Thank you to our director, Jessica Newton for your hard work, dedication, and commitment to being a global leader!
~Vibe Tribe Adventures~
Vibe Tribe Adventures (VTA), a global outdoor and adventure organization, was created in 2017 to encourage more people of color to explore the great outdoors. Our foundational premise is to provide a safe space for women to feel comfortable and inspired, in addition to welcoming men and youth. Our activities are based on conservation, environmental education, health, and wellness. By increasing awareness about the lack of inclusion surrounding leisure, recreation, and adventure, we help fill gaps in the outdoor community. Through providing inclusive, authentic imagery where people of color are featured, we implore the underrepresented to take notice and take action.
To fulfill our mission, we have 4 cornerstone programs under the VTA umbrella:
· Black Girls Hike – This program was created to encourage Black women to live healthy lifestyles and to explore Nature.
· Urban Trekker – This is our Youth Development program for children from ages 11-18. We provide experiential educational events throughout their local areas so they can learn about Nature and science.
· Black 14er – This is our advanced survival program. We help train individuals that want to take their outdoor experiences to a professional level. This includes day hikes, overnight camps, and summit adventures. Several members have taken the initiative to achieve a unique goal: to scale all 58 peaks in Colorado.
· Adventure Guides – Our guides are our activity leaders. We provide them with the support, resources, and training that they need to be stewards of the environment for our members.
Our ever expanding network of committed leaders is directed by founder and CEO Jessica Newton from Colorado, U.S.A. Under her guidance, in 2020 the organization achieved Non-Profit, 501(c)3 status. This has opened Vibe Tribe Adventures to additional opportunities in raising awareness and to help fund our activities.
We provide comprehensive options for wellbeing through working with our healthy lifestyle partners. These include fitness coaching, nutrition counseling, and weekly guided meditations. Through building a team of guides from different backgrounds and with different experience levels, we empower individuals to feel like they belong, even out in the vast wilderness. Although trying to go it alone is possible, it can also be difficult. This is where we promote safety and even a sense of sisterhood for many of our excursions.
A certain frame of mind is necessary to overcome the obstacles we face. Spearheading a movement for progress does not come without its challenges or risks. Sometimes there may be a lack of education in urban settings, accompanied by fear, perpetuated by stereotypes both internally and externally. The phrase, “Black people don’t do that,” has been heard frequently. There are stigmas that people need to overcome. Not only do “black people do that,” we do it with a unique and genuine approach. We aim to build the collective power of minorities, especially Black women, by combating discrimination and promoting equality.
In addition to supporting inclusion across gender and racial lines, we endorse increased accessibility. The outdoors is for everyone to enjoy (responsibly of course) no matter their shape, size, or ability. Inclusivity involves overcoming societal norms and showcasing diversity. We need the help of big media and publications, individuals, and organizations to show that representation matters.
Through collaboration, we support other groups whose mission aligns with ours in spotlighting diversity, redefining convention, dissolving stereotypes, and expanding participation. We also support our members and leaders in ongoing efforts to explore, grow, and learn. There does not need to be a specific event or gathering for us to proceed with blazing new trails.
In the midst of all the hard work we put forth, self-care is of primary importance. It allows us to be our best selves in managing our obligations and challenges. There are many facets involved, including carving out the time, space, and energy to nourish one’s self to continue to thrive. Although versions of self-care vary from one person to the next, finding and even creating what works for each individual can be rewarding and enriching.
Through community engagement, we are seeing the fruits of our labor. Hiking, climbing, water sports, and other outdoor activities are becoming more mainstream among Black and Ethnic communities. However, we are not finished yet. The legacy of Vibe Tribe Adventures is to continuously be a resource for those seeking to partner with us around the globe. Individuals and organizations can show their appreciation and support with donations and memberships, as well as participation in events in order to keep the programs operating. We want to reach as many people as we can to help show the possibilities.
Being in Nature is part of who we are naturally. There is a sense of calm it instills, in addition to finding camaraderie with like-minded people who enjoy exploring, adventuring, or simply enjoying a quiet and reflective stroll. Despite what is going on in the world, it is important to be able to let things go for a time and find peace.
As John Muir stated, “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”
To learn more about Vibe Tribe Adventures and the uplifting and inclusive work we are doing in communities throughout the U.S.A. and other countries, please visit us at:
Written by Kim Griffin, Florida, U.S.A. Vibe Tribe Adventure Guide