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Rue Mapp          

Award-Winning CEO & Founder of Outdoor Afro and Inspirational Speaker

Rue Mapp is the Founder and CEO of Outdoor Afro, a national not-for-profit organization with offices in Oakland, CA, and Washington, D.C. Rue oversees a carefully selected and trained national volunteer leadership team of more than 100 men and women who represent 56 cities around the US, and shares opportunities to build a broader community and leadership in nature. Her important work has generated widespread national recognition and support.

Since Outdoor Afro’s inception in 2009 as a blog, Rue has captured the attention and support of millions through a multimedia approach that is grounded in personal connections and community organizing. From its grassroots beginning, Outdoor Afro now enjoys national sponsorship and is recognized by major organizations for its role in addressing the ongoing need for greater diversity in the outdoors.

In 2010, Mapp was invited to the Obama White House to participate in America’s Great Outdoors Conference, and subsequently to take part in a think-tank to inform the launch of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” initiative. She was appointed program officer for the Stewardship Council’s Foundation for Youth Investment to oversee its grant-making program from 2010-2012. Since that time, Mapp’s work and op-eds have been featured in publications including The Wall Street Journal, Backpacker Magazine, Seattle Times, Los Angeles Times, Ebony Magazine, Outside Magazine, Sunset Magazine, NPR, and many others.

She was named a National Geographic fellow for 2019. Today she is proud to serve on The Wilderness Society board. In 2014, Rue was appointed to the California State Parks Commission by the Governor, and currently serves as its chairperson In February 2020, Outdoor Afro was chosen, out of all the organizations in the Bay Area, to be highlighted and visited by Oprah on her 2020 Vision Tour. Her body of work will be highlighted in a forthcoming book that celebrates black joy in nature, by Chronicle Books, Fall 2022.


Outdoor Afro organization seeks to bring more Black people to the ...
Rue Mapp started the organization to help Black people build skills and feel safe in the outdoors.
California lawmakers lead the push to expand outdoor opportunities ...
Rue Mapp, founder of Outdoor Afro, walks along a trail inside Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland on March 19, 2017. Natasha Dangond / The Chronicle. I'm grateful ...

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