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Meet Outdoor Afro

Getting people Outdoors with Outdoor AFRO

Yakima is a proud supporter and friend of Outdoor Afro, and we’re handing this one over to Yanira Castro, their Communications Director and a regional leader. She’s going to tell us who Outdoor Afro is, and how the organization inspired her – and others – to experience nature with a new perspective. Plus, she’ll give us a look at some big-time climbing and camping action.


Outdoor Afro is built on a focused mission – to create and inspire Black connection and leadership in nature. We are the nation’s leading, cutting-edge network celebrating and inspiring African American connections and leadership in nature. We help people take better care of themselves, our communities, and our planet. Outdoor Afro is a national non-profit organization with leadership networks – more than 80 leaders in 30 states – around the country. We connect thousands of people to outdoor experiences, people who are changing the face of conservation.

“Outdoor Afro has changed me in so many ways”

– Yanira Castro, Outdoor Afro


I learned about Outdoor Afro through a Facebook post. Unfortunately, there was no network in the Charlotte-area. I kept my eye out and I saw a call for leaders. I thought to myself, I could do this. I didn’t have a lot of outdoor experience, but that’s not what Outdoor Afro was looking for. They were looking for people who enjoy the outdoors, but more importantly, Outdoor Afro was looking for people who want to build a community. And I loved that idea.

Outdoor Afro has changed me in so many ways. One of the first things I did after being accepted to be a leader was apply to go on an 8-day rafting trip with the Sierra Club to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

nothing is out of reach

This transformative experience enhanced what I already knew intrinsically – that from the farthest corners of the earth we are all connected. This experience, not only changed me, but changed my family. When you do something like that, nothing is out of reach. So when the kids say they want to experience a new activity or see a new place, my husband and I do the best to make it happen.

Outdoor Afro has made us adventurous – and not just the extreme “let’s raft to the arctic” adventurous. We have also realized that the outdoors is all around us, every day. You don’t have to go further than your own backyard or stoop to be an outdoorsy person. That’s what I hope that I am not only showing my family, but also my greater community.

Load up your favorite yakima gear and hit the road with outdoor Afro


Upcoming Events:

Family Camping

We will be headed to Hanging Rock State Park for family camping trip. Thirty-two Outdoor Afros, of all ages, of all camping background, from the Carolinas will come together in community for a two-night camping trip. Hanging Rock State Park is a nearly 8,000-acre North Carolina state park in Stokes County, North Carolina in the United States. It has 73-site campground, picnic grounds, a stocked lake for swimming and canoe rentals and more than 20 miles of hiking trails that climb onto spectacular views and weave alongside clear streams and waterfalls.

We will be holding hikes of different levels – a more strenuous hike that will take folks to the tallest summit in two counties, where you have a stunning 360 degree view and see for more than 100 miles. The second hike is a stroller and wheelchair-friendly hike to one of the waterfalls. After the hikes, we will meet up and enjoy the lake and small beach for some swimming.


This camping trip is also in solidarity with the Outdoor Afro leaders that are currently climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. They are the first all-black group from the United States ever to do this. Climbing Kilimanjaro is not only a physical experience, but a cultural experience as well. They are showing others that a trip like this is in-reach for anyone. That’s what Outdoor Afro is all about.
OutdoorAfro_Yanira Castro
Yanira Castro

Yanira Castro is the Outdoor Afro reginonal leader in Charlotte, NC. In 2016, she was asked to join the leadership team in a Communications role responsible for social media, media opportunities, and the organization’s overall digital presence. She was also chosen to represent Outdoor Afro on an 8-day rafting trip in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, one of the most remote places on the planet. Her outdoor passions include summit, hiking, climbing and water sports.