Everybody Outdoors and Connected to Nature

Hi everyone,

Our society and world continue to face incredible challenge and change, not only in the face of the Coronavirus but also with worldwide anti-racism protests and equity action.

This topic came up a few times in my recent Resilience, Survival, and Preparedness class. I wanted to include some details I shared with people at that time:

"I mentioned that in our last class we took a little bit of time at the beginning of class and at the end of class to acknowledge the powerful events sweeping through the US (and around the world) around social justice, Black Lives Matter, police brutality, and systemic racism.

I chose not to record that portion of the class out of respect for the people present and to allow for honest and open sharing.  However, I wanted to present some resources I've found helpful, and during the class our discussion did turn towards People of Color, deep nature connection, and representation outdoors.

The main person and organization that I've received training on around anti-racism work is Dr. Caprice Hollins and  Cultures Connecting.  You can check out their website here.   Some of what Dr. Hollins shared during different training sessions I took part in at Wilderness Awareness School is quoted in my book Primal in the chapter titled, "Out of Africa and Towards Wakanda".  She also is the one that turned my towards the book Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome Cultures Connecting has a ton of resources both on-line and in-person.

I also want to point people in the direction of Carter McBride.  Carter was another person I interviewed for Primal, but who I also know personally from his time as a student at WAS.  Carter is an older, retired African-American man who has spent time deeply involved with the Nation Outdoor Leadership School, the North Cascades Institute, and Wilderness Awareness School.  He has served as board member or an advisor to the board for all three organizations around race, privilege, and diversity work.  Carter is actively involved in deep nature connection work.  Here's his Linked-In profile.

Carter introduced me to the work of J. Drew Lanham, a prominent black naturalist and birder.  Here is a link to his website: https://milkweed.org/author/j-drew-lanham.  Drew is an active advocate for getting people of color outdoors.  Here's a quote from Drew: "The wild things and places belong to all of us".

Another black birder, scientist, and blogger you might want to check out is Lauren Pharr, MSc.  Here's a link to her blog and website: https://lpharr.com/.

There are also a lot of wonderful organizations that might be of interest and you might want to support:

Outdoor Afro

Latino Outdoors

Diversify Outdoors

Native Womens Wilderness

I encourage everyone to become involved in whatever way they can including through self-education, financial support, and active solidarity with People of Color.

I hope this message is helpful"

Obviously, there is a lot more I could say about this topic, but I wanted to point people to some useful resources.

I look forward to sharing more in future blogs, especially around Decolonization and work with Indigenous folks.



Recent Posts

See All
Lead Instructor


Jon Young  is a deep nature-people-self connection researcher, mentor, naturalist, wildlife tracker, author, workshop leader, consultant, sought after public speaker and storyteller. Jon has been mentored in deep nature connection by his own grandmothers, Tom Brown, Jr. and a host of elders and experts. As a leader in the field of nature-based community building over 30 years, Jon’s research into the impact and significance of nature on mentoring, human intelligence, spiritually, well-being and development has influenced tens of thousands of people worldwide.  Jon has authored and co-authored several seminal works on nature connection and connection mentoring, including What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World (2013), and Coyote's Guide to Connecting to Nature (2007). Jon has appeared in numerous documentaries including The Animal Communicator (2012). In 2016, he received the Champion of Environmental Education Award for his innovative work, which has inspired positive developments in the field, and fostered the growth of the nature connection movement on a global level. Jon is a father of six children, and lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains with his partner, Sarah


Sarah is a energywork practitioner, bodyworker, wildlife tracker, and interspecies communicator. She has studied wildlife tracking through Shikari Tracker Mentoring with Jon Young and Josh Lane, Tom Brown Jr’s Tracker School, and Cybertracker Conservation. She is a graduate of the Kamana Naturalist Training Program and studied Interspecies Communication with Anna Breytenbach and Wynter Worsthorne. 


For over 19 years, Sarah has been practicing various healing modalities including Chakra-work, Craniosacral Therapy, Meridian Therapy, Qi Gong, Emotional Clearing, and Five Elements Herbalism. She currently offers Earth-based energywork sessions, and lives in the sandhill mountains near Santa Cruz, CA with her partner Jon.