Old Friends Get Together Again – Donny Adair & Larry Anderson

30 10 2009

Is Racism a Factor in the Decline in the number of Hunters?

7 10 2009

A recent article in a national magazine about plummeting participation in duck hunters chronicled a decrease from 2.44 million duck stamps sold to just 1.5 million from 1972 to 2006. Small game hunters have also decrease by 10% in the 10 year period 1996-1006. The studies which were reviewed explored a lot of possible reasons for the decline. Rapid urbanization, difficulties in finding places to hunt, time and distance, aging hunters to name a few. The article points out that there are more ducks and geese than ever before.

This is typical of many writings published in hunting and outdoor industry media. They fail to even consider one of the most significant changes in the population. That is the change in the racial/ethnic demographics. According to the US Census statistics for 2007 thirty four percent (34%) of the population the United States (301 million) are people of color. There are over 82 million African Americans and Latinos. In that same year only 7% of the 12.5 million hunters were African American, Latino or Asian.

It’s obvious to some that the issue of diversity and inclusion needs to come to light. Recently the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Parks Service sponsored a conference in Atlanta entitled Breaking the Color Barrier in the Great Outdoors. I have not read about this or other opportunities to begin reach out to all of our diverse citizens in any of the outdoors sports industry media or discuss barriers which may exist.

Advertisers may be the first to woo ethnically diverse hunters. Leupold and Stevens, makers of riflescopes and other optics, has a new television commercial depicting an African American Hunter. It is possibly this is the first such ad. If you search all of the major outdoor magazines you would be hard pressed to find a picture of any person who appears to be African American, Latino, Asian or Native American. What a shame. What needs to change for the outdoor industry to reverse the trend of shrinking numbers of participants is to begin to at least recognize where the real potential for growth is. The industry is notoriously myopic and cannot see the forest for the trees.

Donny R. Adair, President

African American Hunting Association, LLC

Visit our website at aahunt.com



Reconnecting African-Americans with the Outdoors

4 09 2009

OutdoorAfroHello Mr. Adair,

I heard that you made a connection with Ms Peterman — I am so excited you connected with her mission and the conference born from it. I just helped her to place your video link on the conference Facebook site: Breaking the Color Barrier in the Great Outdoors. We really hope you can chime in with the group there because what you do is fascinating!

I was personally excited to learn about your work — my own father was an avid hunter and fisherman and I learned many things from him. But since he has passed on, there are rare opportunities I have to shoot or fish.

So I am reaching out to you on behalf of the conference, as a peer champion for the outdoors, AND as a personal supporter based on my own interests.

I would love to write a blog about what you are doing very soon OR you can submit a blog on my site. I was coincidentally working with an old friend on a blog about big game hunting, but since you are African American, I think your story would bring even greater value and fresh perspective to my readers.

Rue Mapp  rue@outdoorafro.com

Big Brothers Big Sisters

9 07 2009

Pamela Weatherspoon

Wanted: Positive adult role models

When men met on a recent Saturday at Champions Barbershop on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, it wasn’t just about getting a haircut; they ran into a campaign that’s recruiting volunteer mentors to be Big Brothers.

The effort is an attempt to reverse dismal participation rates by black adult role models in the local Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest mentoring program. The philanthropic group served over 317 African American children in 2008, but only 16 percent of these children were matched with an African American Big Brother or Big Sister. Of the volunteers in the agency’s programs, fewer than 2 percent are African American men.

In order to reverse this trend, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the African American fraternities Alpha Phi Alpha and Kappa Alpha Psi are partnering to take a fresh approach at recruiting black men to be positive adult role models for African American boys.

Since the early 1990’s, these fraternity brothers have reached out to young men by sharing activities and experiences that have a lasting impact.

“We are excited about this partnership with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and Champions Barbershop,” said Pamela Weatherspoon, African American Mentoring Programs Director with Big Brothers Big Sisters. “With our collective efforts, we can really have a lasting difference on the youth in our community.”

Nationally, Alpha Phi Alpha and Kappa Alpha Psi began using barbershops as venues for recruiting men to become Big Brothers four years ago with positive results. This is the first year that fraternity brothers have participated in barbershop recruitment in Portland.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters has continuously worked hard to improve the lives of children,” said Phillip Rogers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. “It doesn’t take a lot to be a Big Brother, and it really does a lot to improve the futures of young African American men.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters helps children reach their potential through professionally supported, one-to-one relationships with mentors that have a measurable impact.

Founded in 2002, Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest has become the largest one-to-one mentoring program in Oregon, the largest Big Brothers Big Sisters agency on the West Coast and the eighth largest in the United States.

For more information about volunteering or supporting the group, visit bbbsnorthwest.org.