Adventure Athlete

Winner

Marshall Masayesva
LocationHopi Reservation, Northern Arizona

Description

Marshall is Reed Clan from the village of Bacavi on the Hopi Reservation in Northern Arizona. He received a B.A. in Adventure Education from Fort Lewis College in 2014. Since moving back home, he has focused on creating service and recreation opportunities for youth and young adults on the Hopi Reservation. He is currently the Field Coordinator with the Southwest Conservation Corps Ancestral Lands Hopi program, where he coordinates service opportunities for Hopi youth and young adults. In his free time, he is the Program Director of Adventures for Hopi, an adventure education/recreation program designed to get Native youth outside.

Marshall was a member of the 2017 Emerging Leaders Program.

Official Selections

Jenny Bruso 
LocationPortland, OR

Description

Jenny Bruso is a self-identified fat, femme, queer, writer and former  indoor kid who, in 2012, went on an accidental hike revealing a new life trajectory of healing, self-care and adventure in the outdoors. Through  sharing her personal stories and the @UnlikelyHikers  Instagram community, she wants to bust up preconceived notions of what an “outdoorsperson” looks like and put a spotlight on diversity,  inclusion and representation. She lives and adventures in Portland, Oregon.

Leah Evans
LocationRevelstoke, BC

Description

Leahs uses creativity to make and create events/space that will connect people to themselves and nature. For example, she’s created airplanemodecamps.com, the Cabin Jams film and Girls Do Ski. She was also featured as a volunteer in the film Jumbo Wild.

Meg Hayward Sullivan
LocationVenice, CA
Born1989
AthleteMeg – photographer/environmentalist
ContactMeg Sullvian, meg@haywood-sullivan.com

Overview

As a contributor to the Outdoor Industry for nearly a decade, my work marries adventure with conservation. Whether it be creating a story with National Geographic Adventure about the last remaining glacier in Yosemite or documenting the California National Monuments that Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke was proposing to shrink, I’ve dedicated my platforms to highlighting important environmental issues, while activating a whole new generation of environmentalists, stewards, and voters.

Impact

To make a lasting impact on this planet there needs to be solutions that come from the bottom up, and the top down. Whether it be from encouraging my social media followers to get involved with their local communities, or helping push for important legislation to ban single use plastics with non-profits like Surfrider Foundation, the impact of my work can be seen in the greater movement of modern-day environmentalism. It’s imperative to highlight the progress we have made a species, which is why I partner with brands and organizations to celebrate stories of hope.

Impact by the numbers

  • Followers: 30,000
  • Impressions: 160,000/week  
  • Ambassador, Surfrider Foundation; Protect Our Winters; Environmental Media Awards
  • Board Member, Mountains Restoration Trust

Innovation

Women have historically been hugely underrepresented in both the environmental and
photographic communities. My career is all about bringing the outdoors to everyone – no matter their economic situation, gender, or political stance. I use relatable adventures + storytelling to encourage people from all different backgrounds to get out in nature. The more we get people outside, the more they will put the environment first in their daily lives, and especially when it comes time to vote. As Jacques Cousteau put it, “People protect what they love.”

Replicability

See “Innovation,” above.

Biggest Challenge to Advancing This Work

The most challenging aspect about my work is following awareness with action. If we want to tackle some of the world’s greatest problems, we need to bring together brilliant minds from all sorts of backgrounds to create innovative solutions. It’s all about community!

Vasu Sojitra 
LocationBozeman, MT
Born1991
ContactVasu Sojitra, vasusojitra@icloud.com

Overview

Vasu has noticed that the outdoor world has a strong connection to white culture. He aims to shift that paradigm to make it a more inclusive community that covers all spokes of diversity: Ability, Age, Ethnicity, Gender, Race, Religion, Sexual Orientation, and Socio-Economic Status. He addresses this issue via three branches he is associated with: 1) He is the Adaptive Sports Director for Eagle Mount Bozeman, 2) He is one of the Coordinators for Earthtone Outside, and 3) He is the First Adaptive Athlete for The North Face.

He is also the person with a disability to*:

Run the Beaten Path in Beartooth Mountain Range
Summit Granite Peak and The Grand Teton
Ski Abiathar Couloir, The Ruler, The Great One
First 720 spin

*on crutches/outriggers

Impact

A lot of the work done by Vasu has been through social change and developing conversation. He has impacted large numbers of people locally in Bozeman to globally throughout the world to broaden their understanding for different diverse populations within the outdoor world by participating in hands on speaking engagements, media representation, athletic accomplishments, and consultation work.

Impact by the numbers

  • >20,000 followers
    At Eagle Mount, nearly 2,000 able-bodied volunteers (more than 5% of Bozeman) donated over 30,000 hours to assist 1,700 participants
    In first year, Earthtone Outside MT provided dozens of opportunities to >100 people of color and other marginalized populations
    Film “Out on a Limb” generated more than 2,000,000 impressions

Innovation

The work is to create paradigm shifts to bring intersectionality around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the outdoor world from the inside out by creating personal connections with industry leaders.

Replicability

Everyone in the US has the resources to grow empathy for marginalized persons. They have to work towards breaking out of their shell, listening, reflecting, then respond whether it’d be through the outdoors or other forms. Know who you are before developing the change you would like to see within yourself and your community.

Biggest Challenge to Advancing This Work

To help create understanding of the importance of DEI in a white dominant industry, collaborate with marginalized communities in a genuine manner, and develop equal representation while balancing a lifestyle based around exploration, resiliency, and empathy.