What drives the passion and desire you put forth to chase your dreams or engage in an activity that takes you into the outdoors, far, far away from your urban surroundings and into the most beautiful natural spaces imaginable? How about taking an enjoyable walk in the wild, welcoming the feeling of forest bathing with thoughts and wonder running through your mind? Many times I feel as if I’m the first person to step into this wild space, to witness the wonder of Mother Nature in her finest moments of couture laced with green grass and rocky terrain; this place, where the river runs through it in a continuing motion, cutting new paths and reaching new destinations; this place, where wildlife benefits from natures awakenings. Wow, what an imagination of where everyone would like to be. A utopia for us all!
Sometimes it’s difficult when no one in the wild looks like you. It makes you wonder about the cards you may have been dealt. Have you thought about the cards you personally were dealt in life? Many times we hold several cards that may not be accepted in the many spaces through which we move and unfortunately this includes our wild spaces. Sometimes you are judged as soon as you walk in the door, sometimes you’re judged when purchasing a product (like buying gear to support your passion into the outdoors). There are so many factors we face, especially when color, gender and disabilities play a role, where the privileged eye usually assumes too quickly without taking the time to hear your story and/or listen to your voice.
What if you realized the “not so good” cards you were dealt were not your fault at all, but just society playing a role in judging you because of your, race, ethnicity, gender, etc….
We at Soul River Inc. strive to make sure the river and our wild spaces are joined in a multicultural diverse force in nature. We advocate as a force, we educate as a force while we partner with other like forces: (Oregon Wild and many others in the community). These partners also believe in the joining of these force of change and strive to work out the problems in our society, especially for our youth , veterans, all genders and the disabled, by welcoming them into our wild safe spaces of inclusiveness. We provide a platform for the growth of our young minds to spread their wings into leaders of our public lands.
Gaby Diaz from Oregon wild sharing about the importance of our public lands and deployment to Ochoco National Forest with Soul River inc.
Partnering with Oregon Wild has once again given us a strong platform to stand on because they understand the healing must start long before the advocacy steps in. This partnership is nurturing both the young minds of our youth who are being mentored by our veterans and by providing safe spaces for our veterans as they to heal in the process.
From left to right (Chad Brown president of Soul River Inc., Mic Crenshaw Environmental Hip Hop advocate, Youth Leader – Sofina Gilbert, Social Justice Advocate and Former Executive Director MRG Foundation Sharon Gary Smith, Youth Leader Tyrrell Hall , U.S. Navy Veteran – Paula Barreto and Gaby Diaz from Oregon Wild )
This past Sunday April 23, 2018, we partnered with The Portland Eco Film Festival at the Hollywood Theater who shared with us a platform to speak to the work we do in our community and address topics of environmental justice and social justice connecting to the outdoors. And it was an amazing afternoon with great public turn out! Eco films who gave SRI the safe space to share personal stories of our youth and gain and engage in diverse topics. The event and panel was fostered and partnered in support Oregon Wild, Eco films, Keen footwear, Yeti Coolers and Lost in Portland is: we were able to see many people of color and diverse backgrounds that care the same way we do about our environment even though we may view things through different lenses and approaches that each participant had a voice to share.
This is and will always be an ongoing conversation. This event gave the audience a kick-start to begin having an ongoing conversation in the community and beyond. The panel was well received and the audience was left with the hunger of wanting more“REEL TALKS!!!! In a healthy way!
Thank you to all our sponsors, partners and the community.
Soul River Inc. Board Members Tim Devlin and Michael Phillips
Soul River Inc. and Oregon Wild together speaking to the crowd.
Social Justice Advocate and Former executive Director MRG Foundation Sharon Gary Smith speaking to First Gentleman of Oregon Dan Little.
Hey!! Here is an awesome low impactful way you can help Soul River inc. We are selling our deployment patches for $25.00 dollars for 2018. By connecting youth and veterans to our public lands and wild rivers, we aim to build a new generation of conservation heroes. Get one of our patches and support the movement! Another way you can support us from far away and local!
Scroll down you will find all the patches including the Ochocoo Deployment Patch!