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Diversity in the Outdoors Panel
February 12, 2022 @ 1:15 pm
In this interactive panel discussion, panelists will answer your questions and address concerns regarding barriers of entry, pathways to inclusion, challenges for people of color in the outdoors, and lack of representation in the outdoor industry.
Quatez Scott – Wright State University Intercultural Specialist for the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center
Sofia Lopez-Mimendi – Owner of Aclipse Campervans
Justin Yoder – Founder and President of LBGT+ Outdoors
Justin will also be presenting Taking Pride Outside at 2:30 in Apollo A.
Sofia will also be presenting The Healing Powers of Nature and Perusing our Dreams at 10:45am in Endeavour C
Justin Yoder, LGBT+ Outdoor
When an LGBTQ+ person comes “out of the closet”, they often look for that place of acceptance which can often be the bar and club scene. However, even if a person’s mother doesn’t accept them, Mother Nature always will. The outdoors is a place full of heart pounding adventure and calming serenity. While the outdoors is always an accepting place, the outdoor industry isn’t always as accepting. There are things that those who love the outdoors can do to help introduce the LGBTQ+ community to the outdoors as well as help create change in the outdoor industry to make it more welcoming. If you desire to help make the outdoors a more inclusive place, we hope you join our class!
Justin Yoder grew up in rural Missouri where his passion for the outdoors was formed. From a young age, he loved everything related to the outdoors from fishing to camping to kayaking. After coming out later in life, he realized it was hard for him to fit into the outdoor culture as a gay man. So, he founded LGBT+ Outdoors in 2019 to help connect the LGBTQ+ community to the outdoors and each other.
Since starting LGBT Outdoors, Justin has had the privilege of being a speaker for the Texas Travel Alliance, Ohio Department of Nature Recourses, the US Forest Service, SuperFeet, Write State Universities Adventure Speaker Series and others. LGBT Outdoors current has over 10,000 members in their Facebook Groups and has been featured in national Facebook commercials, USA Today, The Dallas Voice and other publications.
Justin previously ran a humanitarian NPO and is a successful professional photographer in North Texas. Justin loves sharing his passion for the outdoors and the LGBTQ+ community. Currently, Justin, residents in Fort Worth, Texas with his husband.
Sofia was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico. She came to college in the U.S. to play tennis and run cross-country. She has been in the U.S. ever since. She has a BA and MBA from Lincoln Memorial University. She loves trail running and exploring new places. Starting Aclipse Campervans has been one of the most exciting adventures. She is passionate about finding new trails and skiing in the winter. She loves living in Cincinnati.
Quatez is the Intercultural Specialist of the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center. He is also finishing his Ph.D. Prior to his full-time studies, Quatez was an avid gym goer and spent much of his gym time preparing for outdoor physical competitions like the Spartan Run. Quatez completed multiple spartan runs and his favorite preparation for the event was visit new state parks and run the trails. He is excited to finish his degree, get out of COVID, and get back to his workout and competition normal.