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Hike Clerb Is Healing From Within

30 Apr 2024

Editors Note: In honor of Earth Month, Youth To The People partnered with our friends at Hike Clerb, a decolonial outdoor women’s collective and 501c3 reimagining an equitable and inclusive outdoors for all. Established by long-time YTTP community member Evelynn Escobar, Hike Clerb was born as a radical and creative solution to bridge the nature gap among people of color. They equip Black, Indigenous, women, transgender, and gender nonconforming racialized people with the tools, resources, education and experiences they need to collectively heal in nature. 

On Saturday, April 27, we teamed up with Hike Clerb for The People’s Earth Day — a hands-on farm day of skill-building experiences, healing, and connection through nature hosted at The People’s Farm, a family-led nonprofit community farm in Idyllwild, California. 

Imagine a world where we are fully connected to our environment — a space where our healing comes from our interaction with the outdoors.  

What would we be able to accomplish? How would we be able to interact with others? With ourselves?    

These questions and more are at the forefront of conversation with local community organizations Hike Clerb, Cool Moms, and The People’s Farm as they curate The People’s Earth Day event to gather family and friends to bridge the gap between our interaction with the world around us.   

This call-to-action brings diverse populations back to our roots and serves as a reminder to fall in love with Mother Earth and its ability to heal the soul, body and mind. As society becomes more and more disconnected, connectivity with the earth and others is becoming even more important.    

“When we can come together to support each other's efforts for the betterment of women, for the betterment of children, for the betterment of Black, Brown and Indigenous people, then that's a win for us,” says Elise Peterson, owner of Cool Moms.  

To mirror this initiative, Evelynn Escobar, owner of Hike Clerb, a decolonial BIWOC-led outdoor collective, created a community for Black and Brown women to join together for nature healing and community revival. When she was exposed to the healing virtues of her world in LA, her passion later became the driving force behind passing down this love down to future generations.  

Historically, Black and Brown people have tended to our land, but the nature gap has disproportionately distributed America’s natural benefits to people depending on their economic status, race and other social factors. As Evelynn continues to grow Hike Clerb and encourage folks to take up space in the outdoors, a return to self is her mission.  

On the surface, to connect and feel safe in nature for precisely 120 minutes a day can reduce stress and anxiety levels, increase self-esteem, and can improve mood. As you go deeper to explore your own personal relationship with the outdoors, Escobar believes you will be more inclined to look inward and soul-search.  

“I always say it's like returning home because we are nature,” explains Escobar. “So, embracing that aspect of ourselves allows us to live in our fullness and our wholeness.”   

Likewise, for marginalized folks, Synmia Rosine, the owner of The People’s Farm, a family led, non profit community farm, says creating her farm helped with self-actualization, a tool she hopes all who visit can take with them. After grieving the death of a loved one, Rosine hoped her farm would be a way to continue her family legacy.  

“I'm here as a Black, Korean woman raised in a Black home, here to always put marginalized people upfront, right,” says Rosine. “But at the end of the day, we need to create a safe space where people can learn.”  

Rosine teaches that our interaction with nature strengthens the voice within us giving us a deeper revelation of who we are and our role in making the earth sustainable and a safe space for all.  

“I'm hoping that the people come here [The People’s Farm], and they expect to see what work looks like,” explains Rosine. “Expect to see what maybe our ancestors' land would have looked like, right? Because that's a lot of what we're tapping into here.”   

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