art by @beccabertonRepresentation matters.
We’ve spent the last few weeks listening and learning from leaders at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement. Throughout this process we’ve been quiet, and not just because we wanted to create space for Black voices. While that’s certainly true, there’s plenty we want to say. But we felt it was important to speak from a place of deep self-reflection and not just share a knee-jerk response. This is not a moment for marketing. This is a moment for change.
We have always strived to make the Rheos community a place of inclusion. A place where we are all united by our love of water, regardless of age or race or income. But we know that this is, unfortunately, not the reality we want it to be.
The outdoor industry has tremendous work to do to break down barriers and make outdoor recreation accessible to all. We acknowledge our role in this, and we want to be part of the solution.
Representation matters, and we will work harder to share and celebrate stories of diversity in the outdoors. We promise to help connect more people to outdoor experiences, starting locally here in Charleston. We know this won’t solve everything and it’s just one small piece of a very large problem. But it’s a space where we feel we have an opportunity and responsibility to make change
Truthfully, we do not know what form this will take yet. But we plan to work with our Black community members to create a program that will remove systemic barriers and work toward systemic equality.
Words matter, and actions matter more. It’s a conversation and an evolution. We love you all.
- Becca & Jake
PS: Here are some new accounts we’ve started following, check them out!