Black Hikers Week

Social media influencers Zenovia Stephens, Nailah Blades Wylie and St. Louis’ own Debbie Njai teamed up to present Black Hikers Week. The week, organized with the intention of changing the narrative about African Americans and nature while empowering Black people to fall in love with the great outdoors is currently underway and culminates on June 27.

Among the programming for Black Hikers Week includes a virtual town hall meeting taking place at 6 p.m. CST on Friday, June 26. The discussion will be livestreamed at

The Black Hikers Week schedule of activities was motivated by Black Birders Week – which grew out of a racist encounter experienced by Black birder Christian Cooper. Organizers turned the viral incident into a teachable moment by spotlighting African Americans’ presence within the birdwatching community.

The trio behind Black Hikers Week also hope to highlight the health benefits of hiking as well as create exposure for the 30-plus groups across the nation that are dedicated to African Americans who are engaged in the practice.

“My mom never took us hiking since she didn’t have the opportunity growing up,” Christine Wilkinson said via Twitter and used the #BlackHikersWeek hastag. “I now know she loved the outdoors even back then, but that she felt out of place hiking. My first hike was when I was 18 and I never looked back!”

Black Hikers Week continues through June 27.

Those interested can join the #wehiketoo movement by following @blackpeoplewhohike on Instagram and using the hashtag #blackhikersweek.

For more information about Black Hikers Week, email

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