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Meet Kara Richardson Whitely, a plus-sized adventurer pushing for body inclusivity in the outdoors

On this episode of Her Voice, host Denisha Jenkins talks to author, speaker, and adventurer Kara Richardson Whitely about being plus size in the outdoors.


Kara Richardson Whitely is a plus-size author, public speaker, and adventurer. In 2015, she published the book Gorge: My Journey Up Kilamanjaro at 300 Pounds, which is in progress to become a movie starring Chrissy Metz of This Is Us. Kara’s story is not one of weight loss but one of acceptance, movement, and connection.

As Season 2 continues, host Denisha Jenkins chats with Richardson Whitely about her journey in the outdoors and how her story can benefit others. Some highlights:

  • Assumptions that the industry has about plus-size people and what we need to do to challenge narratives that bigger bodies are outdoors to lose weight
  • The connections between trauma, emotional eating, and nature
  • How 67 percent of women are over a size 12, but clothing retailers don’t reflect that
  • That everyone deserves to take up space in our incredible landscapes
  • What allyship can look like as we work toward inclusivity

About the series

Beginning in 2019, Outside Business Journal and LifeStraw partnered to share the stories and experiences of women in the outdoors, so we can work toward a more equitable future for the industry. We’d like to welcome you to the second season of Her Voice. Episodes will be dropping monthly as our host, Denisha Jenkins, chats with a variety of womxn.

See other episodes here.

Want to nominate someone to be featured? Email Leslie Barrett to let us know whom you think we should talk to and how their story could benefit the industry.

Our host

"Denisha Jenkins smiles at the camera while the sun sets in the background over mountains."
Follow Denisha on Facebook and Instagram @DenishaSpeaks.

Denisha “Neena” Jenkins, an avid traveler, educator and entrepreneur, is an equity and inclusion consultant based in Austin, Texas. With 13+ years of experience, she specializes in intercultural competence, community engagement and leadership development.

Logo for Her Voice presented by Lifestraw