Wild Diversity acknowledges all those who came before us, original stewards of this land, the Clackamas, Chinook, and Cowlitz people, both past and present. What we experience today is a product of ancestors ability to be in relationship with the natural world. We are so privileged to hold space in these areas that would not be here without your guardianship and connection to the earth, roots to buds.
We also acknowledge Black and African labor on which this country built its prosperity, we honor you. We know that we are sitting on the shoulders of giants and that we cannot do this work alone. We have always been successful through community centered mindset and united we will continue in our resilience and cultural strength.
We host outdoor adventures, provide outdoor education, and facilitate community workshops.
through outdoor adventures, day and weekend trips, and workshops for people of color and the LGBTQ+ communities.
through outdoor skills workshops, our gear library and community partnerships.
by creating equitable access to outdoor adventures and education for youth of color, and queer, trans, and low-income youth.
through diverse leadership development training and the Resilience Outdoor Conference.
We’re here to help you explore all the ways you can connect with nature and to support you in finding a sense of place in the outdoors.
My favorite way to get outside is to be in, on, under, or near the water. My dream adventure is to do a kayak camping trip along a beautiful Alaskan river. I'm an entomologist, which means I get very excited about insects and will bombard you with interesting facts about them in hopes that you will love them as much as I do.
Urban kid turned hiker/backpacker. Aspiring naturalist always searching for birds and insects in natural areas. Give me those creepy crawlies!
Growing up by the sea in the Philippines, I have a deep fondness for bodies of water and food. My favorite outdoor activities are expedition sea kayaking, outdoor cooking and relaxing by rivers and waterfalls. I am also a dancer and a boardgame nerd and I look forward to share my other indoor interests to the outdoors!
My favorite way to get outside is kayaking and /or hanging out by water. My dream adventure is learning to sea kayak in a beautiful tropical place with warm, easy waves alongside the love of my life surrounded by dolphin and sea turtles. I love to roller skate and bake desserts-- sometimes at the same time!
My favorite way to get outside is through walking which can happen anywhere-- in a park, in a natural area, or in my neighborhood. My dream adventure is to climb Mount Saint Helens. To me it sounds like the right mix of all day adventure and true physical challenge. I grew up in Northern New Mexico and I love and miss the high desert mountains!
Being outdoors is something I've grown to love, and nature is now a place of relief and reflection for me. I fell in love with hiking after moving to Portland in 2015, and am recently getting into backpacking and kayaking. When not on the trail I like to make art of all kinds, bake vegan stuff, play in my garden, and hang out with my wife, dog, and two cats.
Some of my favorite ways to be outdoors in joy is solo hiking with my pup Walter, kayaking, backpacking, and snow shoeing with friends. I also LOVE sun naps especially near water, or staring up at the trees. A few secret talents of mine include signing and dancing, painting and making photos -- and I'm often doing those outdoors. I currently work as a designer and researcher, and am a former architect. Looking forward to being in community outside.
My favorite way to get outside is one foot in front of the other... preferably with my dog Rodney on an early morning . I try to drop the pressure of “how” I should get outside and instead call on the gratitude I have when the opportunity presents itself-- whether it’s 10 minutes or a few days at a time. My dream adventure is an epic couple of days off grid connecting with new and old friends in the queer/trans community where we impress each other with outdoor cooking, tent building and nature knowledge. I'm a nerd about aviation and I’ve worked as a commercial aircraft mechanic for the past 13 years. I’m always game for a convo about your fear of flying! Also, I mostly hike in jeans.
Tracie grew up camping with her family in the Midwest and while that experience definitely instilled in her a love of the outdoors, it also raised her awareness of the challenges of being "other" in these spaces. She enjoys cycling, hiking and camping. She's also looking forward to enjoying new challenges and adventures with Wild Diversity including backpacking, climbing and kayaking in particular.
Tracie passionate about creating welcoming and accessible spaces for queer POC. Her favorite way to enjoy the wild is with friends and folks who are interested in exploring more off the beaten path places.
As an Oregonian, I’ve always had a strong connection to nature and the outdoors. My partner and I go hiking on most weekends, along with my dog Roscoe! However as a Fat Black Woman, I haven’t always felt welcomed in the outdoor community. Joining WD feels very empowering because I get to lead and build community especially with other BI-POC and LGBTQ+ folks!
I was born in Peru and grew up in the beautiful PNW. I enjoy being out in a kayak or exploring new trails, and finds connection to the earth by being outdoors. I have a background facilitating ESL classes and dreams of creating space to hold these classes outdoors. I love adventuring with my dog, creating art and learning new things.
My favorite way to get outside is an overnight canoe trip down a lazy river. I'm happiest when I'm around water, whether it's a lake, river, or ocean. I also love to cook- part of why I love canoe camping is all of the elaborate meal options that exist when you have a big canoe to pack everything in! When I'm not on the water you can find me biking and hiking, and trying to keep up with my ever-growing list of places I want to visit.
My favorite way to get outside is to spend the day hiking in search of waterfalls. My dream adventure is to go backpacking in the Patagonia. A fun fact about me is that one of my goals is to swing on every swing in every neighborhood park in Portland.
My favorite way to get outside is taking long meandering walks and splashing in any body of water. My dream adventure is spending an entire month doing all of the following, one week at a time: bike touring, then canoe camping on mountain lakes, then backpacking in a dense forest, then lazing around and swimming in a lake and napping all day in a hammock.
I am passionate about creating equitable and inclusive access in the outdoors. I receive so much nourishment from spending time outside and loves empowering and supporting others in finding their own ways of finding joy outside. I especially loves hiking, backpacking, foraging, car camping and shared meals over a campfire. A few of my favorite recent adventures are camping in the Owyhee Canyonlands, ice climbing in Hyalite Canyon and exploring tidepools and rock formations along the Southern Oregon Coast.
I love exploring the outdoors! The big kid in this old geezer still goes, "Wow!" and LOLs when seeing a peregrine falcon, a rainbow, or maybe a lady slipper orchid. As a second gen, cishet Taiwanese-American, I'll be doing my best for us to have safe, inclusive, and fun (!!!) experiences on our hikes.
After years of working in Hollywood as a Casting Director and feeling spiritually unfulfilled, I walked out of the studio and picked up a camera. It was time to tell the stories of people who don’t have a voice, and from their point of view, rather than casting for commercial advertising and consumer products that nobody needs.
I am a boots-on-the-ground- social documentary photographer. I am honored to have been an eyewitness to the historical and Indigenous-led movement that occurred on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota in 2016-2017. I started hiking and backpacking in 2009. The experience helped save my life.
Katie is from Hawaiʻi and moved to Oregon in 2016 with her spouse. Katie has traveled extensively throughout Japan in the homelands of her grandparents by studying abroad to Kobe and Hiroshima as a college student, and upon graduation teaching English for the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program in Kumamoto. Through immersing in and learning traditional Japanese way of life, she rekindled a desire to reconnect with nature and preserve cultural traditions and lifestyles of her Native Hawaiian ancestors. Since returning home, Katie has worked on environmental science and conservation in higher education, public and nonprofit sectors in Hawaiʻi and Oregon. Her hobbies include ocean sports, making things for family and friends, and spending time in nature. Katie graduated from Kamehameha Schools Kapālama and holds an AS in Biology and BA in Japanese from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and is currently pursuing a MA in Indigenous Education, Native Hawaiian Cohort, at Arizona State University.
Quel has spent much of her life in, on, or around water. She grew up mostly in Washington, but has resided in Oregon for the last decade and she is still exploring the waterways here.
Bio to come
Charelle is a member of Diné tribe and is also of Hopi and Zuni decent. She grew up on and off the Diné reservation before moving to Oregon five years ago. Her love for the outdoors stems mainly from her upbringing on the reservation, where she was free to roam and explore with her six siblings. Her passion for the outdoors has led her to love a myriad of adventure sports, including white water boating, mountain biking, backpacking, and rock climbing.
Charelle is dedicated to making adventure education and outdoor recreation accessible and inclusive for POC and Queer communities.
Youth Ecology Educator
Chase is from Portland, OR and grew up spending a lot of time in nearby Douglas-fir forests and wild scenic rivers. He also enjoyed every summer of his childhood spending time with family back on the sandy beaches of Hawai’i. These experiences helped cultivate an appreciation for the outdoors and subconsciously created a desire to make it a career choice. Growing up in a majority white metropolitan area and not seeing racially diverse representation in the environmental field throughout his journey has led Chase to Wild Diversity. That is why he is educating the next generation of multicultural youth to provide them the learning opportunities he did not have when he was younger. The future is in their hands.
Despite the geological magic that can be found everywhere you turn in my home state of California, I did not begin to really appreciate the outdoors until moving to St. Louis and meeting people who camped and hiked and adventured. Although I have always felt drawn to being outside, I have not always felt like it was a place where I was welcomed. I’m deeply excited to join Wild Diversity, and to challenge this narrative of mine. For now, a few of my favorite ways to be outside include: napping in a hammock, practicing Yoga in the grass, walking on the beach, and doing any kind of art making – photography, writing, sketching.
Skeeter is a recent graduate. They grew up in Boston, but have spent the last 6 years on the West Coast and can confirm that the West Coast IS the best coast. Skeeter comes to Wild Diversity with a lot of energy and passion for the future of the outdoors. They love to backpack in the Sierras, swim in the ocean, play music around a campfire, write poetry, and nap in the middle of a forest.
Mercy M'fon Shammah
Her drive to form Wild Diversity came from the desire to support a robust community of POC & Queer outdoorists and be an architect of much needed change for diversity in the outdoor industry. She wanted a welcoming as safe place for her underrepresented communities to thrive.
Mercy has over 15 years in community leadership as an educator and facilitator directly serving community. She has also traveled to over a dozen countries training and leading workshops as a roller derby coach to empowering women to realize their potential. She brings that passion to the Wild Diversity community and is proud to be a part of community growth.
Member at Large
Alyssa Macy is a citizen of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon and was raised on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. She is of the Wasco, Navajo, and Hopi descent. Alyssa is the CEO of Washington Environmental Council. Her previous experiences includes serving her Nation as the Chief Operations Officer where she was responsible for $33 million in tribal programming and services; working transportation, campaign management, communications and international advocacy within United Nations bodies. She is a published writer and co-authored the first ever national report on Native American voting in 2005. Alyssa has been a foster parent to 6 children and her oldest daughter is in her second year of college. She enjoys spending her time outdoors skiing and glamping.
Francisca grew up in sunny Southern California before moving to Oregon for college and to get away from lizards. Due to growing up in a large city, she didn’t get to experience the outdoors until she backpacked on Mt.Adams at age 18. That backpacking trip changed her life and spurred an appreciation for the outdoors and a desire to encourage more young POC to access these spaces.
She currently works for the City of Portland after working in archiving at Reed College and being a community liaison for Causa Oregon. In her free time, she enjoys reading, biking through Portland, and planning trips to National Parks. She looks forward to keeping excellent notes (in a recycled notebook!) and learning as much as possible from the rest of the Wild Diversity team.
Lauren is an outdoor lover who grew up in the Pacific Northwest with a strong track record in financial planning and budget management, on-line (demand) planning and marketing. Consistently successful career with a world-class retail organizations known for excellence in quality, service, results, and professional development. Lauren is a Business Integration Planner for Nike.
Lauren loves spending time outdoors. Biking, hiking and camping are her favorite ways to relax in the wild.
Forrest Ubuntu Zola Mbali
Member at Large
Bio coming soon.
Member at Large
Bio coming soon.
Wild Diversity focuses on reinvesting in community knowledge expansion in stewardship, outdoor education programming and skillshare centering Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) and LGBTQ+ communities through decolonized stewardship.
Since inception in 2017, Wild Diversity has invested effort in neighborhoods, community, outdoor experiences and adventure skills for BIPOC and LGBTQ communities. We limit economic barriers of entry for to outdoor adventures by providing sliding scale adventures and education; awarding scholarships; and gear lending through our Gear Library.
As we witness more and more organizations approaching diversity, equity, and inclusion there is a large missing undertone of restorative justice. That is why we center our community's experiences and those with the most impacted identities to lead, create, and re-imagine.
Leadership among all partner organizations have BIPOC & LGBTQ guiding efforts of narrative change in conservation stewardship. By working to shift consciousness around what it means from a decolonized lens, we can create healing spaces and connect with our ancestors who have always cared for this land. The majority of our volunteer base and staff live, work and recreate in North or Northeast Portland. We have personal investment, increased sensitivity to connection and actively engaged in advancement and advocacy work in these neighborhoods. Every partner organization that caters specifically to Black, Indigenous & People of Color, this strengthens our long term foundation for community growth and long lasting stewardship.
Wild Diversity was born out of community and we believe that BIPOC & LGBTQ centering, community based approaches to empowering and equipping our communities to continue to be stewards of their lands is one of the most powerful things we can do to create/nourish connection to land.
We have learned that seeking time in the outdoors can look like many things and ultimately we hope that it fosters stewardship and love for the outdoors. We have first hand experience in delivering stewardship practices through fostering curiosity within our diverse projects and programs. Before every hike, backpack, walk or adventure that Wild Diversity leads, we state that, “You are only as fast as your slowest hiker”. We say this because it is not always about ‘conquering a summit’. As a community striving to decolonize outdoor spaces, we are stronger together. If we lead with intention and meaningful inclusion we are allowed our own time to create deeper connection to our lands.