Celebrate Black History Month With Us

February is Black History Month and Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa (CCMI) joins the rest of the nation in paying tribute to the Black and African American community whose contributions are woven into the fabric of America’s culture and the outdoor community.

At CCMI, we embrace our vision, “a world where everyone has equitable access to nature, is equipped to succeed in career and life, and is empowered to make a difference in conserving natural resources.” CCMI is deeply committed to service-learning that builds strong communities and a race equity culture that supports that vision.

We encourage you to watch, listen, and read about the Black voices, history, and experiences related to the outdoors.


REI Presents: Brothers of Climbing: The Brothers of Climbing is a crew that’s making the climbing community more welcoming for all and creating a community where there wasn’t one.

The Triple Crown of Hiking – Will “Akuna” Robinson: Will “Akuna” Robinson relives his first steps of the PCT and talks about completing the Triple Crown as a POC and what that means to him.

#EveryoneOutside Episode 001: Naliah Blades Wylie & Color Outside: The first film of The Outbound Collective’s #EveryoneOutside initiative, featuring Nailah Blades Wylie, the founder of Color Outside. Color Outside is a safe place for women of color to come together and create unapologetic, soul-stirring lives through outdoor adventures.


Carolyn Finney: Landscapes of Exclusion: An interview with Carolyn Finney, the author of “Black Faces, White Spaces”, discussing the legacy of people of color and nature in the US, the policing of black Americans in outdoor spaces, and wilderness as a site of the sublime.

How Black Books Lit My Way Along The Appalachian Trail: Rahawa Haile recounts her journey on the Appalachian Trail and how the love of her books by Black authors motivated her.

Black Firefighters Blazing Trails: The history of Chief Engineer Patrick H Raymond and Abu Baker, and Outdoor Afro Leader and firefighter for 17 years in the Oakland Fire Department in California.

Where to Learn About Black History AND Enjoy the Outdoors: Going through five different outdoor experiences and the Black history behind them.

Expedition Denali – Inspiring Diversity in the Outdoors: The story of a group that made history in 2013 as the first team of African Americans to blaze the trail up America’s highest peak – Denali.

Rue Mapp Wants Outdoor Enthusiasts to Look More Like the Rest of America: The story of Rue Mapp, the founder of Outdoor Afro, and her journey to build a broader community in nature and change the face of her field.

Black in Business: Interviews with Black owners of businesses in the outdoor industry discussing their journey to open their business and the need for more Black-owned businesses.

Support These Intersectional Environmental Organizations for Black History Month: A list of Black environmental organizations to donate and support this Black History Month.

Black Birding is About Hope: An interview with Corina Newsome, co-organizer of Black Birders week, about creating room in a predominately white space.

The African American Experience in the Civilian Conservation Corps: The history of African American’s significant role in conservation efforts and development of our nation’s public lands.

Harriet Tubman, the Unsung Naturalist: The history of Harriet’s use of owl calls as a signal on the underground railroad to communicate, navigate, and survive.


Being ‘Outdoorsy’ When You’re Black or Brown: A discussion with members of the POC community and what the outdoors means to them.

Outside Voices: A podcast celebrating and amplifying those who don’t always seem themselves reflected in the “Great Outdoors” narrative.

Black History Lesson: James Smith of Outdoor Afro Charlotte shares the history of why connecting Black people to nature and the outdoors is so important.


2021 Black History Month online events: List of local events that are hosted online put together by the Minnesota Spokesman-Reorder News Online.

Black History Month: Virtual Events That Celebrate and Honor Black Culture: Collection of virtual events by Eventbrite to showcase Black excellence in its many forms: food, film, comedy, music, literature, and more.

A Conversation with Carolyn Finney: Event hosted by Chicago Wilderness on February 17th, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30 pm.

Black History, Black Voices: The Black Liberation Movement: Join distinguished University of St. Thomas professor Dr. Yohuru Williams and a panel of Black history-keepers as they chart the evolution of Black protest in Minnesota and on a national scale, from slavery through today. February 18th, 2021, 3:00 – 4:00 pm on YouTube and Facebook.