In honor of Black History Month, we’re spotlighting Black trailblazers; the adventurers, activists, and environmentalists who have been busy charting their own paths into nature, leading the charge to make nature and rest more inclusive and accessible. Today we’re featuring Evelynn Escobar, a social activist and the founder of Hike Clerb, a nonprofit and intersectional womxn’s hike club in LA. Here’s what she had to say about nature, Hike Clerb, and activism.
My connection to nature has grown and developed over time. Like most kids, I gravitated to playing outside in the dirt and the woods with my friends. I didn’t grow up visiting national parks or going camping, etc. but I always enjoyed hiking when visiting my aunt who lived in Los Angeles. As a young adult, I sought out natural spaces and made an effort to spend more time outside, but it wasn’t until I moved to Los Angeles that I realized how innately outdoorsy I was. Getting in touch with my true nature has brought out a side of me that I didn’t even know fully existed and I am forever grateful for that.
On Creating Solutions
I would definitely consider myself to be a problem-solver so when I realized how homogenous the outdoors really were, it inspired me to spring into action! I definitely attribute my first National Park visit to being one of the biggest catalysts for this. That and my experience hiking solo around LA really drove me to create a literal safe space to facilitate experiences centering BIWOC for collective healing.
I actually went to school for journalism and ended up taking the social media route which wasn’t yet a huge thing back then! I think just starting a non-profit period is probably the most difficult challenge of my career thus far. There are so many resources needed and they aren’t necessarily readily available to you. There’s a lot of learnings you encounter along the way. My favorite project so far has to be my current partnership with Nike ACG!
Therapy has truly been an absolute game-changer for me! It’s so necessary and so fundamental. Of course, going into nature has also been a huge help with everything going on in the last year. It has truly provided a reset and release that is even more so needed now.
I think it’s so important when starting any community, to be married to your mission. Know exactly why you are investing your time into whatever you’re doing and who you’re speaking to. It should be a natural extension of you! When you’re operating from a place of authenticity, the community builds itself.
I am inspired by women who live boldly. Women who are using their unique efforts to help change the world. Issa Rae, Leah Thomas, Betty Reid Soskin to name a few. I am thankful for the community that has invested its time and efforts into me, who helped make me who I am. My aunts, my grandma, my mentors and the friends who have left an impact along the way.
Outdoorsy comes in all shapes, forms, colors, sizes, interests etc. We are multi-faceted beings capable of being passionate about many different things and I want people to understand that their version of outdoorsy doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s but their own. There is power in that.
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