FEBRUARY 2021 Celebrating Black creativity
by Mike Ferrell
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In this month's newsletter, we celebrate Black lives, creativity, and art. We also explore representation both creatively and in the outdoors. Representation matters because when you identify with someone doing something you thought wasn't for you or even possible, it gives you the power to believe in yourself and the confidence to try new things.
Courtney Lanctot is the founder of Unpopular Black, an organization whose mission is to encourage adventure beyond the stereotypes and narratives of what Black people "don't do.”
“Adventuring feels like joy and confidence in an experience. It reminds you that you are capable” Courtney says on her GoFundMe, “I want to facilitate joyful exposure to our Black community to adventure and the outdoors in all of its many forms.”
Courtney's GoFundMe, Encourage Black Adventure, aims to build a national directory for Black Americans to find adventurous activities, Black adventure organizations, and inspirational Black adventurers.
I’ll be having a conversation with Courtney next week about why representation, information, and access for the Black community are important to highlight. Stay tuned.
Pierce Freelon is an accomplished producer, musician, director, and city council member of his hometown, Durham, North Carolina. I had the opportunity to interview Pierce in 2019 for my podcast. He’s a visionary, a family man, and a pillar of our community.
He’s the co-founder of Beat Making Lab, an Emmy Award-winning PBS web-series, and the writer, composer, and co-director of the PBS animated musical The History of White People in America. It was selected by Whoopi Goldberg to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival twice. Pierce is also the founder of Blackspace, a digital maker space where he has mentored dozens of youth, teaching digital storytelling, music, and film. Pierce’s debut Children’s album D.a.D was released in 2020 earning praise from Today Show, NPR, Now This, and Parents Magazine. Explore his work here.
Soul Deep presented by Black Diamond is wonderful. It’s about representation, opportunity, connection, and joy.
“Soulville, we are not for profit, we are for people.” – Malik Martin
This is the story of Memphis Rox, a climbing gym that has transcended the classic model of business. With a “pay what you can” approach, Memphis Rox is more than a gym, and bigger than climbing. It’s a glimpse into the future where a climbing gym can become a crucible for diversity, inclusivity, and community. Watch Soul Deep
This playlist is pure inspiration and movement. Listen here!
We're always looking to partner with good people and creative minds. So if you’re an athlete on a mission, a creative with a concept, or a marketer with an audience – we would love to collaborate with you. Email us, let's chop it up!