Let’s be real. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are, and have been, major issues for the outdoors industry— challenges that need to be addressed before we can say we’ve created spaces that are safe and inclusive for all.
Together, we can do more to ensure the outdoors is a welcome place for everyone. Over the past six months, we’ve partnered with outdoor industry CEOs and business leaders, and Teresa Baker, founder of the In Solidarity Project, to help conceptualize a framework for addressing systemic issues in the outdoor industry through collective action on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). We’re excited to stand with a group of like-minded outdoors industry leaders, and launch the Outdoor Diversity Alliance (ODA).
The ODA is designed to level up and coordinate DEI work across the outdoors industry. Inspired by the “strength in numbers'' mindset that gave the sustainability movement so much momentum, the ODA will harness collaboration as the way forward to accomplishing industry-wide DEI goals and establishing ongoing accountability. Working with like-minded companies is how we’ll generate the changes we want to see. Playing a founding role in the ODA is the latest step in our ongoing Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) work, and part of our 2025 Sustainability Goals for the planet and the people in our community.
We’re proud to be a founding member of the Outdoor Diversity Alliance which is bringing together outdoor companies committed to advancing Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion across the industry,
MEET THE ODA
From efforts to address climate change, to improving supply-chain sustainability, and advocating for conservation, the outdoors industry has proven that cooperation can push forward progress on issues that challenge all of us. “Through our work in sustainability, we learned that one of the best ways to drive change is in coalition with other businesses willing to do the work,” Ashley Laporte, Burton VP of Purpose & Impact. The ODA is modeled on these successes, leveraging the power of strength in numbers, especially when we share resources to address complex problems.
The ODA started with the Outdoor Industry CEO Diversity Pledge that we signed onto in 2020— a commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion as part of a brand’s ethic, including internal practices, marketing, and sharing our experiences with other leading brands. Three years later, Teresa Baker convened outdoor industry CEOs and business leaders for discussions on diversity, equity, and inclusion. A smaller group, now known as ODA’s Advisory Board, formed to take tangible action on those talks and founded the Outdoor Diversity Alliance.
The ODA Board:
- Teresa Baker, In Solidarity Project
- Alicia Chin, Smartwool
- Eoin Comerford, Moosejaw
- Kent Ebersole, Outdoor Industry Association
- Damien Huang, Cotopaxi
- Ashley Laporte, Burton
- Josie Norris, Outdoor Industry Consultant
- Torrey Udall, Protect Our Winters
- Dan Walker, Arc’teryx equipment
THE MISSION OF ODA
The ODA’s main strategy is a simple yet profound shift that takes the efforts of individual brands and companies like Burton farther, positively impacting the way we operate and radically expanding inclusion in snowboarding. The starting point is asking business leaders to listen to the needs of historically underrepresented communities and drive change across the industry.
The outcome of centering community needs are three ODA goals that will steer us toward a more equitable industry:
1 – SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF AUTHENTIC RELATIONSHIPS BY HELPING COMPANIES AND HISTORICALLY UNDERREPRESENTED COMMUNITIES AND GROUPS CONNECT.
2 – DEVELOP THE FRAMEWORK FOR AN INDUSTRY-WIDE EQUITY ASSESSMENT.
3 – CREATE AUTHENTIC STORYTELLING MODELS LED BY UNDERREPRESENTED COMMUNITIES.
“We have a responsibility to be building toward a future where all people can thrive on a healthy planet,” says Laporte. “We have a lot of work to do, and working with our peers in the industry to advance JEDI is just one step in the right direction.”