Episode 98 – The Power of Storytelling

Danielle Williams & Melanin Base Camp

Banner image by Logan D.A. Williams

This episode sponsored by ThirdLove

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Stories connect us, help us learn, and help us better understand each other. Melanin Base Camp founder Danielle Williams taps into the power of storytelling to showcase the many different ways people of color and LGBTQ+ folks experience the outdoors. In this episode, we talk to Danielle and featured bloggers Nadia Mercado and Dr. Favia Dubyk.

In interviewing Danielle, there’s a lot we could dig in to. She’s a skydiver and started “Team Blackstar” a community for skydivers of color. She’s third generation military. She’s coping with complications from Rheumatic Fever that have left her unable to run. She’s also one of the founding members of Diversify Outdoors, a coalition of social media influencers who share the goal of promoting diversity in outdoor spaces. Their website also hosts Teresa Baker’s Outdoor CEO Diversity pledge.

For this episode, we chose to highlight Danielle’s work with Melanin Base Camp and the power of storytelling, and in particular, the power of telling your own story and listening to the personal stories of others.

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Featured in this episode: Danielle Williams, Nadia Mercado, and Dr. Favia Dubyk

Hosted by Gale Straub

Music is by Lee Rosevere, Mise, Kai Engel, Evan Schaeffer, and Nihilore using CC by A license

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • About Danielle’s early experiences running
  • Nadia Mercado’s article “I said I Wasn’t Outdoorsy, but I Lied” and how we create stories about what is outdoorsy and what isn’t
  • The value of stories to help us understand people with different backgrounds and cultures
  • How Danielle’s chronic illness has changed her perspective
  • Why Danielle started Melanin Base Camp to share the stories of people of color and the myriad of ways they experience the outdoors
  • Why bloggers Nadia Mercado and Dr. Favia Dubyk contribute to Melanin Base Camp
  • The power of storytelling to connect, to educate, and to create a historical record
  • About Nadia’s article, “Shut Up and Climb” and why ‘good vibes only’ cultures in outdoor adventure sports can be destructive
  • What Melanin Base Camp will be focusing on in 2019

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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Danielle Williams melanin base camp
Danielle Williams carrying a parachute and her jump helmet; Photo by Don Carrington
Dr. Favia Dubyk at Taos Ravine
Nadia Mercado at Hanging Rock State Park in Danbury, North Carolina; photo by Amir Hunter

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