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Women of color building relationships through representation in the outdoors

By Brooke Chau

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    TUCSON, Arizona (KGUN) — “If you were to search the term outdoors or outdoorsy in Google, and you’re not going to see faces like ours,” said Toyin Ajayi, Founder of Outdoorsy Black Women.

Changing the narrative when it comes to the idea of the outdoor lifestyle scene is what Toyin Ajayi is pushing for nationwide. She noticed that women of color like herself were not the “typical faces” people would see when women were being advertised as active, especially in the outdoor scene.

This then led to her starting the social group, “Outdoorsy Black Women” by hosting hikes and outdoor activities to allow women of color to have a safe and open space to build relationships through representation.

“One of the reasons why the community is 18 and above is to be able to keep that space safe for any type of conversations that we want to have. We could talk about dating, life, and advice about our jobs,” said Ajayi. “It’s about sisterhood and having a community to turn to.”

Her group, “Outdoorsy Black Women” started in Atlanta, Georgia and has now expanded to over 17 chapters, with one of them being in Tucson. Ajayi says Southern Arizona is the perfect place for the group because of our active climate.

Tucson is one of the newer “Outdoorsy Black Women Chapters” but Tucson’s local ambassador Ashley Perez, says they already have a good group of women to start.

“I wanted to have that connection, I wanted to have that sisterhood. I just wanted to meet other people that had common interests as me and explore things that’s generally not something that’s talked about in our community,” said Ashley Perez, Tucson Ambassador for Outdoorsy Black Women.

Nationally, more than 3,000 members across the country have already joined the march outdoors since it started in 2020.

The Tucson group is set to host their next hiking event on Saturday, May 13. For safety and privacy, they do not release the location of these outdoor activities. For more information, visit their website here: outdoorsyblackwomen.com or contact info@outdoorsyblackwomen.com

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

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