OEI: Pathfinders

Are you an Outdoor Educators Institute (OEI) Alumnx interested in creating your own outdoor/environmental equity-based community project?
In an industry influenced and dominated by white supremacy culture, it can be challenging for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) to feel seen and supported within the outdoor/environmental sector. Many outdoor/environmental organizations do not center the voices and leadership of professionals of color and aren’t equipped to meet the diverse needs of the communities they serve. The OEI: Pathfinders program offers an opportunity for OEI Alumnx to build their own outdoor/environmental equity-based community project through a 5-month professional learning program.

OEI: Pathfinders aims to build professional capacity through training, resources, mentorship, and access to industry leaders to support the development and implementation of an outdoor/environmental equity-based community project. The primary focus of OEI: Pathfinders is to support Alumnx interested in creating their own lane in an industry dominated by white supremacy culture. During the 5-month program, participants will develop and implement a community project intended to move their greater business vision forward.

Program Overview:

Curriculum topics may include (subject to change): 

  1. Mission and Vision
  2. Program Development + Evaluation 
  3. Strategic Planning and Partnership
  4. Funding Sources and Community Centric Fundraising 
  5. Communications and Marketing 
  6. Risk management
  7. Business Structure

Equity-Based Community Projects:

Participants will develop and implement an equity-based community project based on a greater business idea/vision. Business planning and development takes time, energy and resources. Because this is a business introductory course for those interested in starting their own project, we will use the 5 months to learn skills and strategies from industry experts and put these concepts into direct practice through the development and implementation of a community project.

Example Community Projects:

  • Community Restoration Day
  • Book Club and Learning Group
  • Backpacking Retreat for LGBTQ+ Folx
  • Community Nature and Wellness Event
  • Community Based Interpretive Hiking Program for Youth

Mini Grants:

All participants will receive a $1000 mini grant to help them with the implementation of their community project. This grant may be used at the participant’s discretion to support their vision and implementation plan. 

Program Timeline:

This is a hybrid program, taking place between July 2023 to November 2023.

  • July 28-30th:  In-Person Kick-Off Retreat 
  • August 19th: Virtual Convening 
  • September 15-17th: In-Person Development Retreat
  • October 14th: Virtual Convening 
  • November 10-12th: In-Person Culmination Retreat 

Virtual office hours will be held twice a month between July-November to offer participants an opportunity to co-workshop ideas with each other and the Justice Outside staff, ask questions, follow up on session topics, and work on their community based projects. 

In-person programming will take place in an area of California between Oakland and Fresno to accommodate for OEI Fresno and Bay Area Alumnx. Travel, lodging, and meals will be provided. 

Application Process:

  1. Applications must be submitted by June 28, 2023.
  2. Interviews will be held on a rolling basis.
  3. Applicants will be notified in July 2023.

This is a free program and we  encourage all OEI Alumnx who are interested in OEI: Pathfinders to apply!

Please check out the Frequently Asked Questions Page (FAQ) page before applying. For any other inquiries please email the Outdoor Educators Institute Program Manager Tyler Gonzales (he/him) tyler@justiceoutside.org.