ABOUT

Our VISION is a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. Our MISSION is to support girls, women and LGBTQ+ people in accessing their power and improving their health through connections to the outdoors and community.

OUR VALUES

We believe ACCESS TO NATURE IS A RIGHT and being outdoors has transformative potential for us all.
We WELCOME UNIQUE AND DIVERSE IDENTITIES, experiences, and ideas and rely on them to do our best work.
We COLLABORATE CONTINUOUSLY in partnership and community.
We LEAD from out front, from behind, but most importantly, from within.
We HUSTLE for ourselves and for each other — and after the hustle, we celebrate.
We EVOLVE AND ADAPT individually and collectively in the face of our dynamic world.

OUR STORY

Women’s Wilderness is a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded in 1998 in Boulder, Colorado. We were one of the first and still one of the only gender-informed organizations providing direct outdoor experiences in the world. We are also a licensed child care provider in the State of Colorado.

We take a gender-expansive and intersectional approach to leading people in the outdoors because significant gender barriers still exist in the U.S. to accessing both outdoor recreation and sports broadly. Girls participate in outdoor recreation at significantly lower rates than boys (Outdoor Fdn, 2017). When considering  race, sexuality, socioeconomics, and other intersectional discriminations, opportunities to be outside and feeling free are even fewer.

Our courses are intentionally designed to be fun, empowering and challenging outdoor experiences. We prioritize creating safe environments where participants can grow stronger, technically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually as they connect  with themselves, others and the land. On our courses, you’ll experience shared leadership, collaboration, emotional support, and making conscious choices that honor you and your lived experience. There is typically a fair amount of laugher, peanut butter, and sweat involved as well.
Our courses aim to offer access TO the outdoors and growth THROUGH the experience. When you ask what girls, women, and LGBTQ+ people need to gain from a transformative outdoor experience, you inherently come up with different answers than you would if you were serving people with dominant identities. Afterall, we still live in an inequitable society. Our approach aims to support micro and macro equity building in everything from women’s confidence in placing rock climbing anchors to supporting leadership of immigrant and refugee girls.
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Commitment to Anti-Racism

As a feminist organization, Women’s Wilderness commits to anti-oppressive and anti-racist practices, as both a ways and a means, in our work towards our vision of a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. As an organization based in the U.S., we acknowledge the white supremacy, racism, and land theft that underpins the founding of our nation as well as the continued oppression of people with marginalized identities. We take responsibility for breaking these deeply embedded traditions within our own work and the spaces we occupy. In order to achieve our mission of supporting all girls, women and LGBTQ+ people, we must recognize the intersections of power and privilege and actively work to amplify voices, center experiences and prioritize reparative actions towards people with non-dominant identities, with a specific focus on Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC).

OUR TEAM

We are a vibrant and passionate community of outdoor experts, enthusiasts and activists.

We are committed to providing safe, respectful, inclusive, and collaborative environments that foster self-awareness and self-actualization. As a team, we aim to create spaces that make our participants feel connected to themselves, each other, and the outdoors.

All backcountry instructors are Wilderness First Responder certified and trained in creating safe experiences for girls, women, and LGBTQ+ folks. We strive to ensure people with shared identities are leading courses, whether that’s women leading girls, LGBTQ+ people leading queer courses, or BIPOC people leading BIPOC programs. 

AFFINITY SPACES

We believe that affinity groups are an essential part of supporting our participants with identities that are marginalized within our community and the broader public. These spaces provide our participants with the chance to safety process their experiences at Women’s Wilderness, in the outdoors, and beyond, with other people who have a shared identity.

LAND ACKNOWLEGEMENT
In all of our gatherings, we acknowledge whose land we are on and encourage our community to do the same. We occupy and conduct programs on land that was once stewarded and inhabited by indigenous people of the Ute, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Goshute, Shoshone, Apache, Pueblo, and Zuni tribes. Entities -- both public and private, seeking to exploit the natural resources in the interest of capitalism and wealth-building -- stole this land using violent force and strategic treaties and laws that not only allowed for ‘lawful’ continued occupation and extraction of the land, but also the continued (and still present) oppression and erasure of findigeous people and practices. The purpose of acknowledgement is to remind ourselves of the truth of our history on this land, and to shift the way we talk about the land. Our hope is that this becomes a common practice in all settings and situations. This is just a starting point. We know we have a long way to go. We maintain a posture of humility and growth when it comes to centering indigenous people in our work. We encourage our community to continue exploring and learning, as we will.

ANNUAL REPORTS

990s: 2019 and 2018

Employer Identification Number (IRS): 84-1439821