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For over two weeks now, there have been protests across the country, after Minneapolis police officers murdered George Floyd. We’re at a pivotal moment, one in which the pushback by the American people against oppression and systemic racism seems poised to effect much-needed change. The initial results, such as the defunding of the Minneapolis Police Department by their city council, are promising in showing that our collective voice can make a difference.
We here at Climbing support the Black Lives Matter protests. We support racial justice. Racism is an undeniable problem in this country, including within the climbing community. We want to do what we can to be an ally to the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) members of our community, and we will work to dismantle systemic racism by using our voice as a media outlet. This includes elevating the voices of BIPOC climbers.
In concrete terms, that means that we have reached out to writers to solicit stories. We’ve put out a broad call for submissions via @writersofcolor. And if you’re reading this right now and want to pitch to us, or know someone who should, please email digital editor Kevin Corrigan at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to hear from you.
There are multiple organizations and websites who are providing valuable educational resources we encourage you to seek out. Some include: Melanin Basecamp, Diversify Outdoors, and Access Fund. We’ll be sharing more in the near future.
So, what can Climbing do? It’s our job to raise these issues as they pertain to climbing and the climbing community. Our first step is to support this movement by educating our readers about the experiences of BIPOC climbers, and to elevate their voices with our platform—not only to talk about race, but also to share content about the sport we all love: climbing. We will increase representation to ensure everyone knows they are welcome in this space when they pick up an issue of the magazine or visit our website or social media channels.
Climbing is intimidating. It’s hard enough for anyone to find the educational resources and mentors needed to become a safe, proficient climber. We recognize that it becomes harder when your very identity isn’t represented by the companies who enable and celebrate the sport, Climbing Magazine included.
To date, we here at Climbing have not done enough to represent and provide a storytelling venue for BIPOC climbers. We’re committed to changing that, and we look forward to doing more. To any readers who are frustrated by this statement because you see climbing as an escape from societal issues, please recognize that not everyone has that luxury. Not everyone feels safe at the crag. It’s time to change that. We welcome the climbing community’s help in doing so, to make ours a better, more unified, and more inclusive sport.
—The Climbing Magazine editors and staff