The NORTH FACE explore fund council

EMEA Council members announced to drive real change in the outdoors

The North Face today announced the first members of its EMEA Explore Fund Council, a platform designed to help shape the outdoors for future generations.

First announced last year, The North Face Explore Fund Council is a global project armed with a $7m fund to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts and expand access to outdoor exploration.

The EMEA Council Members will use their expertise and influence across a breadth of sectors including sport, academia, the media and more, to support in breaking down systemic barriers to exploration.

These leading figures will advise on the allocation of funds to various Not-for-profit (NFP) organizations across the UK, France and Germany. The members of the council are:

  • David Djite – Snowboarder, diversity and inclusion advocate, and The North Face Explorer Team member
  • Emilia Zenzile Riog – Founder of Berlin-based Center for Intersectional Justice
  • Laurianne Melierre – Journalist, equality campaigner, and outdoor lover
  • Molly Thompson-Smith – 5-time UK National Climbing champion and advocate for diversity and sustainability
  • Dr Mya-Rose Craig – Racial equality, climate, and environmental campaigner
  • Phil Young – Media personality and racial equality advocate
  • Stephanie Case – Human Rights Lawyer, ultramarathoner, and founder of non-profit Free to Run

Exploration and sport have the power to improve lives, teaching us new experiences around curiosity, perseverance, adventure, and playfulness, yet a  2020 Sport England report concluded that those from BAME backgrounds are likely to be less physically active, and that sport is ultimately failing BAME groups.

Amanda Calder-McLaren, Brand & Comms Director, The North Face EMEA said:

“The benefits of spending time outdoors whether exploring nature or taking on more fast-paced sporting adventures is undisputed. Everyone has the right to feel welcome and we as a brand are committed to ensuring any barriers are identified and removed and the work of this experienced and learned council will help to ensure this happens. Exploration has the power to change lives and connect communities and The North Face will not be passive in the pursuit of inclusion in the outdoors.”

Phil Young, EMEA Explore Fund Council Member said: “As more communities recognise the importance and benefits of the natural world, I’m excited about being able to work alongside The North Face on their Explore Fund Council, helping more people to experience the joy of the outdoors.”

The council is actively working towards three key deliverables:

  • Developing broad-based, sharable recommendations to support culturally relevant exploration
  • Piloting initiatives with non-profits bringing inclusive exploration to life within the ethnically diverse communities that have been often excluded from the outdoors
  • Supporting council and brand-driven public conversations celebrating the many ways we explore #neverstopexploring

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