Camber Outdoors executive director Deanne Buck, who has led the organization for more than six years, has resigned.
Camber, an organization with a mission to achieve workplace equality in the outdoor industry for women and underrepresented groups, faced public criticism after its “Outdoor Retailer Thought Leader Keynote: Everyone’s Outdoor” presentation on Feb. 1 at the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show in Denver. Several leaders in the marketplace called Camber out for using the words “first of its kind” for the relaunch of its CEO Pledge, renamed the CEO Outdoor Equity Pledge, that happened during the event. It was viewed as undermining the efforts of others who are dedicated to similar missions, such as Teresa Baker.
(Baker, founder of the African American Nature & Parks Experience, unveiled the Outdoor Industry CEO Diversity Pledge in July, which focused on giving underrepresented groups a stronger voice and presence in the marketplace.)
Buck and the organization issued an apology via its website, Camberoutdoors.org, as well as via social media, on Feb. 4. “We are and remain committed to an open, respectful and solution-oriented dialogue while acknowledging that we have much to learn. We have a responsibility to do better, to understand cultural and racial sensitivities, and to move forward in a manner that is inclusive,” Buck wrote.
But her efforts weren’t enough in the eyes of critics, who called for her resignation.
“[Camber Outdoors’] actions have shown that they are out of touch with actual outdoor diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work occurring at the grassroots level across the U.S. … Join us as we publicly ask Camber Outdoors Executive Director Deanne Buck to step down,” adventure athletes of color advocacy group Melanin Base Camp wrote in an Instagram post.
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@CamberOutdoors’ actions have shown that they are out of touch with actual outdoor diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) work occurring at the grassroots level across the U.S. Their history of working AROUND instead of with people of color is problematic. Their apology fails to address the fundamental issue: the creation of a secondary, duplicate diversity pledge is inherently antagonistic towards the work already being done by grassroots DEI leaders around the U.S. We’re ready for a leadership change. We need leaders who reflect the diversity of our communities, who prioritize building professional relationships with grassroots organizations and who avoid duplication of effort. Join us as we publicly ask Camber Outdoors Executive Director, Deanne Buck to step down. There’s still work to be done. Our industry needs ONE pledge led by actual DEI leaders. Today we’re also asking Camber Outdoors to join efforts with the Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge created by Oakland based activist Teresa Baker. We are demanding resolution because there’s still work to be done. But it can’t be done without the support of grassroots DEI. It can’t be done without people of color. It can’t be done without fat, queer, trans, differently abled grassroots activists and communities. Instead of undermining our efforts, we invite Camber Outdoors to work with us to help shape this industry towards a more inclusive future. We owe that much to the 50 signatories of the Camber Outdoor Equity Pledge and the 23 signatories of Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge. ➕ ➕ #DiversifyOutdoors #IstandwithTeresaBaker
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