Everyone has a right to nature. We’re dedicated to equal access to nature for Visibly Minority Ethnic (VME) families and kids.
Right now, VME people are excluded from the UK countryside. Most opportunities to access the great outdoors are aimed at affluent white kids. We believe this has to change.
Black2Nature fights for equal access to nature for all, a right that we believe is fundamental in the same way we all have the right to access education or health. Everybody should have the benefit of being able to go out into green or natural spaces, not just for their enjoyment but also for their mental, physical and social wellbeing.
Vulnerable and disadvantaged minority ethnic children and teenagers are particularly at risk of entering foster care, prison or the mental health system. They are twice as likely as their White counterparts to be diagnosed with a mental illness through contact with the criminal justice system rather than it being picked up by their school, GP or Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
We know that nature has the power to inspire us and connect us to each other.
Our vision for Black2Nature is that our early intervention will get VME children, teens and families out into nature on a regular basis, increasing their resilience to physical and mental illness.
1. We will increase engagement of Visible Minority Ethnic (VME) people with nature and the environment through education, so that they:
- Can simply enjoy nature
- Understand the benefits to their physical and mental health and wellbeing.
- Learn how nature connects them to their heritage.
- Learn about and become interested in conservation careers.
- Build confidence in campaigning for and defending their communities and the natural world in the face of the climate crisis
2. We will enable young VME people, women, families and communities to experience nature, the countryside and its benefits through our camps, walks and events.
3. We will educate those in nature conservation — media, environment, education and similar sectors — in how to connect with VME communities.
4. We will campaign for equal access to nature for VME communities who are currently excluded from the countryside.
5. We will mentor and nurture young VME people to help them find their inner resilience and improve their mental health.
6. We will make the environmental sector ethnically diverse through holding conferences, workshops and consultancy.
Why the sector needs us:
There is significant institutionalised racism within the environmental and conservation sector. Only 0.6% of environmental professionals are VME. Young people hoping to enter the sector need significant support and mentoring to combat this — and the sector has to admit there is a problem and tackle it.
We strive to bring these two groups together and facilitate progress.
Why the community needs us:
We know that nature has the power to inspire people and connect them to each other. Experiences in nature have proven benefits for mental and physical health, and promote happiness and creativity. To put it another way, a community that is connected to nature is a stronger community.