Kayaking at Sunrise

Our Founder

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Simone Adams

Founder & Executive Director

Hiker | Camper | Kayaker

Simone Adams has always held a passion for exploring the outdoors. Her earliest memories include playing in the creek beside her house, exploring the woods with her brothers, and camping in the North Georgia mountains with her father. Originally from the metro Atlanta area, Simone now lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina, just steps away from Pisgah National Forest where she has plenty of trails to keep her happy. 

As a Black woman who grew up hiking and camping in the South, Simone rarely saw other faces of color on the trails. A female, a solo adventurer, and a person of color, Simone was often met with words of caution rather than encouragement from people who didn't have a relationship with the outdoors. When Simone began exploring other outdoor recreation activities and taking lessons from adventure guides, she noticed that her instructors and fellow participants were often all-white. These experiences, combined with her career in nonprofit as a fundraising strategist, formed an idea that would grow into an opportunity to create racial equity in the outdoors. 

In 2021, after more than a decade in nonprofit work, Simone launched Color My Outdoors with a mission to change the outdoor narrative. Her dream is to dismantle the stereotype that people of color don't enjoy or belong in the outdoors and replace it with a narrative that celebrates the people of color who have a meaningful relationship with the outdoors. 

Got a few minutes?
Check out this 
story recorded by StoryCorps on NPR about Simone's son and her father hiking the Appalachian Trail.

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