A partnership between the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) and Thor Industries will establish a coalition to make outdoor recreation activities more inclusive and welcoming.
The Together Outdoors coalition will address equity and inclusion barriers in the industry through education and awareness. The initiative is open to cross-sector participation in offered training, resources, grants and other methods for manufacturers, suppliers, service providers and stakeholders in the outdoor industry to support inclusion and advocacy groups.
ORR stated Thor is funding the coalition’s development, creation and initial operations as part of a multi-year commitment.
“Maximizing access to outdoor recreation is a core objective of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable,” ORR VP Lindsey Davis said. “Achieving that goal requires more than building infrastructure and creating new parks – it also means enacting policies and partnerships that ensure inclusivity and access to all Americans, no matter who they are or where they live. ORR is proud to be part of this important initiative and we look forward to helping to build Together Outdoors to ensure welcoming and equitable access to outdoor recreation.”
The coalition’s groundwork started last year through Thor-conducted listening sessions with underrepresented outdoor individuals and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) leaders. Based on their experiences, ORR stated the takeaway was that underrepresented people often feel unwelcome in the outdoors.
“We have listened and heard many of the deep and long-running concerns and obstacles underrepresented groups face when pursuing outdoor adventure,” Thor President and CEO Bob Martin said. “Enjoying and appreciating nature is important for health and mental well-being and should be welcoming places for everyone. Thor is committed to helping advance outdoor equity and inclusion, so all feel welcome to ‘Go Everywhere and Stay Anywhere.’”
ORR stated its partnership with Thor and coalition establishment will affect all outdoor recreation sectors. The move will be designed, operated and informed by partnerships with experts and frontline representation to create a more inclusive outdoor experience for all.
“The work of diversifying the outdoors is only measurable by the individuals and organizations committed to making it happen,” said Teresa Baker, founder of the Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge. “It is not easy, as it demands action, not just words. I am happy to see Thor join the efforts of so many others, by engaging its partners and community in this work, this is how we make progress. I look forward to seeing this coalition in action.”
Organizations committed to joining the Together Outdoors coalition are: National Marine Manufacturers Association, National Forest Foundation, Motorcycle Industry Council, Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association, Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, Brunswick, Simms Fishing Products, Archery Trade Association, The Recreate Responsibly Coalition, Hipcamp, The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, Airstream, Inc., Go Camping America, Thor Industries, ORR and TOGO Group.
“Representing privately-owned RV parks/resorts, campgrounds and glamping businesses across North America, we are proud to join the Together Outdoors partnership to enhance the experience for all RVers and campers,” said Paul Bambei, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. “Interest in RVing and camping is growing with every minority group—and we want to see them camping even more — so joining this coalition is just one of the many ways ARVC is helping our members create memorable experiences, ensuring everyone, no matter their background, feels welcome and comfortable enjoying the outdoors.”
The Together Outdoors’ coalition will be shaped by input from an advisory committee of grassroots organizers and advocates, along with input from outdoor business leaders, federal agencies and conservation organizations.