Outdoor Afro: Reconnecting Black People to the Outdoors
Wear it on the streets of America. Watch the comments, curiosities, and questions that follow.
“We recognized early our community loves our logo, and wants to represent it loud and proud,” said Outdoor Afro Founder and CEO Rue Mapp. “Having a merch store is a fun and accessible way for our community to continue to support our charitable work. Working with Oaklandish in the past, we’re even more excited to now embark on this new chapter of collaboration.”
Mapp’s national not-for-profit organization is easily identified in the outdoor industry because of its logo – an afro silhouette with a tree sprouting from within the cultural throwback hairstyle.
Recently rebranding its .com site to now outdoorafro.org, Outdoor Afro reintroduces its sought-after shirts – a short sleeve, long sleeve, and hoodie – with a new digital store through longtime community partner, Oaklandish. Mapp considers the apparel brand as the premiere Oakland purveyor of iconic design that beautifully represents Outdoor Afro’s hometown and headquarters location.
“Rue herself is a force of nature,” said Angela Tsay, Oaklandish CEO, “and has done so much to raise Oakland’s profile on the national scene while staying true to her passion and the mission goals of Outdoor Afro. We’re so proud of everything she has accomplished and are proud to work with her in growing the brand.”
In its now 13th year, Outdoor Afro and the iconic nature emblem continue to speak to Black joy, healing, and the network’s mission: celebrate and inspire Black connections and leadership in nature.
The afro logo has literally traveled from local neighborhoods and nationwide conferences. To The White House and celebrity events. To a cruise across international waters with Mapp to Antarctica in February 2022.
Outdoor Afro also trains a select group of volunteer leaders who guide more than 1,000 local activities across the United States annually. After each activity, volunteers and community participants gather with the network’s signature logo banner to capture that memory in nature. Now that Outdoor Afro reaches more than 60,000 people nationwide, its logo stays on touring circuit rotation.
Purchasing the organization’s newest short-sleeve tee, long-sleeve tee, or hoodie through Oaklandish guarantees a comfy reminder of why Mapp established the now nature movement for Black people and Black communities. “Our mission at Oaklandish is to spread ‘local love’ by way of our civic pride tees and accessories,” said Theresa Hartwell, marketing and account manager. “Oaklandish is honored to partner with Outdoor Afro, and share the impactful work they do to uplift and reconnect Black people to the outdoors.”
ABOUT OUTDOOR AFRO: Outdoor Afro is a national not-for-profit organization that celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature. What started as a kitchen table blog by Founder and CEO Rue Mapp in 2009 has since grown into a cutting-edge nationwide network with 100-plus volunteer leaders in 60 cities with network participation reaching 60,000 people. Outdoor Afro reconnects Black people with the outdoors through outdoor education, recreation, and conservation.
Shop the collection: Outdoor Afro
Learn more: outdoorafro.org
Follow on Instagram: @outdoorafro