top of page
Bootprint page banner_edited



Top of Page

SAWS was created to help take care of wild places and make them safe and accessible for current and future generations. This means acknowledging that public lands and wilderness areas are not equitably accessible, and that there is a long history of systemic racism that has excluded, erased and harmed Black, Indigenous and people of color in the outdoors. Barriers to safe, inclusive access also exist for people who identify as LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and others.


SAWS is committed to doing the individual, organizational, and institutional work necessary to recognize historic and systemic racism and contribute to meaningful change in our areas of influence. By working with partners and supporting BIPOC-led organizations who are leaders in this space, we hope to do our part to create a more just outdoor community, where diversity is valued, people of all backgrounds are welcome and included, and past injustices are acknowledged and addressed in ways that create equity in access to places, resources, programs, and careers in the outdoors.


Throughout our website, you can find information about how SAWS is integrating Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility values and action into each of our areas of work.


The resources below have been helpful to our staff in learning about and building JEDI principles into our work. We invite you to join us in learning from these resources, and also welcome input on additional resources that you have found helpful.






  • Black Faces, White Spaces by Carolyn Finney 

  • Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

  • Engage, Protect, Connect: Empowering Diverse Youth as Environmental Leaders by Angelou Ezeilo

  • The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair With Nature by J. Drew Lanham

  • How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi

  • Legacy on the Land: A Black Couple Discovers Our National Inheritance and Tells Why Every American Should Care by Audrey Peterman

  • Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad

  • Trace: Memory, History, Race and the American Landscape by Lauret Savoy

  • The Unlikely Thru-Hiker: An Appalachian Trail Journey by Derick Lugo

  • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo








Other Resources

Other Resources
Other Groups

Learn from Other Organizations

We encourage you to spend time looking at the websites and supporting the work of the organizations highlighted in our statement and others who are leading this work in the outdoors, including:

Each of the websites above includes great information and resources. For those of you on social media, you can follow the social media influencers on Diversify Outdoors.


Follow Along with the SAWS Learning Cohorts



In 2020, SAWS formed small group learning cohorts as part of an ongoing conversation about antiracism and building JEDI principles into the core of our organization and work. Our groups meet regularly to review and discuss content, thoughts, experiences, and growth, creating space to confront our own racism, talk about systemic racism and its intersection with public lands, and help disrupt systemic racism in public lands visitation and management.


We invite you to form your own learning and discussion groups to learn from the resources above. Here are two exercises that the SAWS cohorts have done, to help you get started:


Exercise 1: Unconscious Bias

  • Pre-Work:

    • Implicit bias test

      • Select "I wish to proceed" at the bottom of the page.

      • Take the following tests: 1) Native IAT, 2) Race IAT, 3) Skin-tone IAT

      • 30 minutes total. 10 minutes per test.

  • Discussion Questions:

    1. What was your reaction to the results of your implicit bias tests?

    2. What is your first strong memory of witnessing racism in your lived experience?

    3. What are some of your reactions and thoughts about the SAWS antiracism required readings?

    4. What do we know about racism and racial equity in our public lands?

    5. Thinking about the readings, past discussions, the implicit bias test, and this break-out session, how will the information you've gathered/learned deepen your understanding of the inequities within our public lands and environmental conservation work?


Exercise 2: Distinguishing and Valuing Diversity, Inclusion and Equity

  • Discussion Questions:

    1. Share some reflections on your responses to the thought exercises. 

    2. How does equity support diversity and inclusion?

    3. For whom is SAWS creating a more inclusive environment? How can we ensure that inclusion is real?

    4. What systematic barriers exist that may limit or impede any efforts we are taking?

bottom of page