Cross-Sector Coalition Comes Collectively to Assist Create a Extra Welcoming & Inclusive Outdoor

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Round Table on Outdoor Recreation works with industry leaders to promote access and inclusion in the leisure economy

WASHINGTON – June 7, 2021 – (Newswire.com)

The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) has partnered with THOR Industries (NYSE: THO), one of the world’s largest manufacturers of recreational vehicles, to form a coalition to ensure everyone is welcome in all facets of outdoor recreational activities – from camping to fishing to boating, off roading, archery and beyond.

The “Together Outdoors” coalition is founded to support and equip the leisure industry to raise awareness of equality and inclusion in outdoor experiences and to provide education and awareness in order to remove existing obstacles. The Together Outdoors Coalition is open to cross-sector participation and provides training, resources, grants and other opportunities for manufacturers, retailers, service providers, stakeholders and individuals in the outdoor industry to promote equity and inclusion in all forms of outdoor leisure support and network with stakeholders. THOR finances the development, foundation and commissioning of the coalition as part of a multi-year commitment.

“Maximizing access to outdoor recreation is a key objective of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable.” said Lindsey Davis, vice president of ORR. “Achieving this goal will take more than infrastructure and new parks – it also means establishing policies and partnerships that ensure inclusivity and access to all Americans – regardless of who they are or where they live . ORR is proud to be part of this important initiative and we look forward to helping build Together Outdoors to ensure inviting and equal access to outdoor recreational activities. ”

“We listened and heard many of the deep and longstanding concerns and obstacles that underrepresented groups face when pursuing outdoor adventures.” said Bob Martin, President and CEO of THOR. “Enjoying and appreciating nature is important for health and psychological well-being and should be a welcome place for everyone. THOR is committed to promoting equality and inclusion outdoors so that everyone feels welcome to go anywhere and stay anywhere. ”

The groundwork for the coalition began last year with listening sessions that THOR Industries conducted with underrepresented individuals in nature and other Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) leaders. Based on their lived experiences, the common knowledge was that underrepresented people often do not feel welcome in nature. With heightened awareness and understanding, THOR has teamed up with ORR to form a coalition designed to help influence all sectors of outdoor recreation. The coalition has been and is being developed, operated, and informed through close partnerships with experts and others at the forefront to create a more inclusive outdoor experience for all.

“The work of diversifying nature can only be measured by the individuals and organizations who work to make it possible. It is not easy because it takes action, not just words. I am excited to see THOR join the efforts of so many others by involving its partners and the community in this work. This is how we make progress. I look forward to seeing this coalition in action. ”- Teresa Baker, founder of the Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge

The Together Outdoors coalition is shaped by input from an advisory committee of grassroots organizers and advocates with extensive experience of the challenges faced by underrepresented groups in their pursuit of outdoor leisure and adventure, as well as input from outdoor business leaders, federal agencies, and conservation organizations.

The coalition recently completed an extensive national search of fantastic candidates for a full-time DEI outdoor leader and is pleased to Gerry Seavo James is leading the effort. Born into a multi-generational military family, Gerry lives in Kentucky, where he has led extensive exploration efforts across the state to connect key players in rural and urban areas, and to promote the inclusion and representation of minorities and people of color. He views the diversification of nature as essential to mental health, economic development and the creation of environmentalists and stands ready to lead these efforts at the national level.

“As a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) advocate and founder of a small outdoor recreational and environmental social company, I have seen the positive effects of outdoor recreational activities on public health, natural resource conservation, executive development and the The rise of a future shaped by sustainability. I am excited to be part of such a transformative project that continues the process of the outdoor industry to take profound and deliberate steps to put diversity, equity, inclusion and representation at the center. “ said Gerry Seavo James, coalition leader for Together Outdoors.

The following organizations are committed to joining the Together Outdoors Coalition: National Marine Manufacturers Association, National Forest Foundation, Motorcycle Industry Council, Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association, Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, Brunswick, Simms Fishing Products, Archery Trade Association, The Recreate Responsably Coalition, Hipcamp, The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, Airstream, Inc., Go Camping America, THOR Industries, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, and TOGO Group.

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“As leaders of outdoor recreational activities, we play a key role in ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity to access and enjoy nature,” said Erik Pritchard, President and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council. “Through the Together Outdoors Coalition, we can step up our efforts with cross-industry sectors to make outdoor experiences inclusive and truly inviting for everyone.”

“Fishing has the power to unite people, heal our body and mind, relieve stress and develop character,” she says Diane Bristol, Senior Director, Employee and Community Engagement for Simms Fishing Products. “Everyone should have access to these benefits, which means we welcome all anglers, regardless of the equipment in the quiver – or their ability, race, gender, religion, nationality or political ideology.”

“Everyone in America deserves to be welcomed in nature. The Coalition Recreate Responsably and its more than 1200 members are excited about these efforts to build a more inclusive nature through the Coalition Together Outdoors. With millions of people enjoying the outdoors over the past year, it’s more important than ever that the outdoor industry, manufacturers, local executives and nonprofits work together to create a more inclusive and welcoming outdoor experience, ”said Tania Lown-Hecht, co-founder of the Recreate Responsably Coalition.

“At the National Forest Foundation, we believe that public land and everything it offers is an American treasure and is vital to the health of our communities,” said Mary Mitsos, President and CEO of the National Forest Foundation. “We understand the importance of making sure this country is safe, accessible, and inclusive for all Americans. Joining the Together Outdoors coalition will enable us to increase our impact while promoting diverse representation and administration within our National Forests and Grasslands. ”

“We are proud to join the Together Outdoors partnership to improve the experience for all RVs and campers,” says Paul Bambei, President and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. “Interest in RVs and camping grows with each minority group – and we want them to camp even more – so joining this coalition is just one of the many ways ARVC is helping our members create memorable experiences and ensuring that everyone regardless of his background, feels welcome and feels comfortable enjoying nature. ”

“Our public lands and waters are open to all, and the marine industry is committed to making the great outdoors an inclusive, safe and welcome place for all,” said Kate Plush, vice president of human resources for the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). “We look forward to working with our coalition partners as we intensify our efforts to remove all barriers to outdoor recreation across the country.”

“Bowhunting connects people in a very personal and intimate way with nature and their table,” said Matt Kormann, Managing Director of the Archery Association. “Everyone should be able to experience this profound opportunity without restriction. We recognize, support and commit ourselves to the work that is necessary to make everyone feel welcome and safe, regardless of whether they enter the forest or a shop. ”

“At Hipcamp, we believe that the outdoors must be safe, accessible and inclusive for all in order to get more people outside, especially for under-represented communities,” said Hipcamp CEO and Founder, Alyssa Ravasio. “We are committed to joining Together Outdoors to provide training and other resources to create a more inclusive outdoor experience.”

For more information and to learn how you can become a part of Together Outdoors, please visit TogetherOutdoors.com

Media contact: Cody Wertz, co-founder of Freestone Strategies. email to [email protected]

ABOUT ORR

The Round table for outdoor leisure activities promotes the growth of the outdoor leisure industry and outdoor leisure activities and is the leading leisure coalition with 33 member associations serving over 110,000 companies. ORR members represent the American hunting, fishing, RV, cycling, hiking, camping, ATV, diving, riding and skiing communities, among others.

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A cross-industry coalition is joining forces to create a more welcoming and inclusive outdoor space

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