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Join Pocket Outdoor Media and Outdoor Industry Association for an uncomfortable conversation about the N word

Register now for a panel discussion about the wide-ranging and complex implications of the racial epithet.

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Four headshots of smiling people
Left to right: Teresa Baker will moderate the discussion between panelists Alison Mariella Désir, Carolyn Finney, Ph.D., and Devin Dabney. Courtesy.

On Tuesday, February 16, at 12 p.m. Eastern, join Pocket Outdoor MediaOutdoor Industry Association, and Outdoor Media 4 Inclusion for a conversation addressing the ongoing controversy around the use of the N word. The big question: Is it ever appropriate to use the word, not just in media or the outdoor space, but anywhere?

Details about the panel participants and registration link below.


Teresa Baker, who will moderate the panel, is the founder of the Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge and the In Solidarity Project. Teresa’s main focus is to engage underrepresented communities in matters of environmental protection and responsibility, in hopes of fostering a shared sense of stewardship of the land.

Teresa spends the majority of her time working with outdoor agencies, organizations, brands, and retailers on ways to welcome a more diverse audience to their boards, staff, and campaigns. She does this through outdoor events and speaking engagements across the country.


Alison Mariella Désir

Named by Women’s Running as one of 20 women who are changing the sport of running and the world, and by The Root 100 as one of the most influential African Americans ages 25 to 45, Alison is an endurance athlete, activist, and mental health advocate. Alison is the founder of Harlem Run (an NYC-based running movement), Run 4 All Women (an initiative that has raised over $150,000 for Planned Parenthood and $270,000 for Black Voters Matter), and co-chair of the newly formed Running Industry Diversity Coalition, which seeks to make the running industry more equitable and inclusive. In 2020, Alison launched the highly successful Meaning Thru Movement Tour, a series of nine virtual fitness and mental health events that featured experts and fitness professionals like Robin DiAngelo, Kenya Crawford, and Stephanie Bruce. Alison is a Global Athlete Ambassador for Hoka One One and an Athlete Advisor for Oiselle.

Carolyn Finney, Ph.D.

Carolyn is a storyteller, author, and cultural geographer. She is deeply interested in issues related to identity, difference, creativity, and resilience. Carolyn is grounded in both artistic and intellectual ways of knowing—she pursued an acting career for eleven years, but five years of backpacking trips through Africa and Asia and living in Nepal changed the course of her life. Motivated by these experiences, Carolyn returned to school after a 15-year absence to complete a B.A., M.A. (gender and environmental issues in Kenya and Nepal) and a Ph.D. (where she was a Fulbright and a Canon National Science Scholar Fellow). Alongside her work public speaking, writing, consulting, and teaching, she served on the U.S. National Parks Advisory Board for eight years. Her first book, Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors, was released in 2014. Recent publications include “Self-Evident: Reflections on the Invisibility of Black Bodies in Environmental Histories” (BESIDE Magazine) and “The Perils of Being Black in Public: We Are All Christian Cooper and George Floyd” (The Guardian). She is currently working on a performance piece about John Muir (The N Word: Nature Revisited) while doing a two-year residency in the Franklin Environmental Center at Middlebury College as the Environmental Studies Professor of Practice.

Devin Dabney

Devin is a rapper and climbing industry professional who has worked as a routesetter, climbing instructor, youth coach, event coordinator, personal trainer, and marketing consultant. He currently works for Nike in a variety of capacities, serves as part of KAYA’s Community Board, and is a freelance writer, musician, DEI advisor, and podcaster. A creative spirit, Devin has an academic background in landscape architecture, music production, media communications, and Spanish—all of which he uses to professionally pursue many passions such as design, architectural photography, and shoe customization. Devin is also dedicated to building strong communities, including within the sport of climbing. He has partnered with nonprofits, companies, and community groups to expose marginalized people to climbing, routesetting, and various creative pursuits. As a writer, Devin frequently works with the Climbing Zine, and as a musician, he has performed and collaborated with many regional artists over his 15-year career.