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.)
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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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