Latino Outdoors Receives a $25,000 Community Grant from Outdoor Foundation and Kaiser Permanente

Media Contactslatino-outdoors-logo-smaller

José González, Latino Outdoors

(209) 968-6155

jgonzalez@latinooutdoors.org

 

Graciela Cabello, Latino Outdoors

(805) 203-6679

graciela@latinooutdoors.org

 

In celebration of the National Parks Centennial, Outdoor Foundation and Kaiser Permanente support organizations connecting people to parks through outdoor recreation.

(LOS ANGELES), June 20 – Latino Outdoors is pleased to announce it was one of eight recipients of a $25,000 grant from Outdoor Foundation and Kaiser Permanente. The grant program awarded funding to deserving non-profits from Northern California that help connect local youth from underserved or urban areas to close-to-home parks.

The partnership between the Outdoor Foundation and Kaiser Permanente will fund eight projects that will engage more than 1,800 young people in recreation at parks. Part of the Outdoor Foundation’s broader “Parks4Kids” initiative, the program was announced at the Partnership for a Healthier America Summit in Washington, DC.

“Using cultural relevancy as a tool to connect communities to the outdoors, and foster the next generation of stewards is a top priority,” said Raquel Rangel, Latino Outdoors Regional Coordinator for the Central Valley. “The community we work with are underserved, first generation Latino families in Modesto, Stockton, and Turlock in California. The program will connect the participants to different nearby parks – local, state, and national. We believe that creating meaningful and memorable experiences, while experiencing different outdoor activities with their families, will empower them to continue accessing such places.”

“America is facing an inactivity crisis, which is contributing to a range of health issues for young people across the country and in Northern California,” said Chris Fanning, the executive director of the Outdoor Foundation. “Thanks to the support and leadership of Kaiser Permanente, we are working with great local groups to get Americans — especially youth — out of the house and into public parks to create healthy, active communities.”

The grant program was created to help combat the inactivity crisis prevalent among youth and young adults in America. The statistics are staggering. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average young person spends eight hours in front of a screen and only eight minutes outside and active.

 Latino Outdoors involves multiple outings to parks throughout the year, with the purpose of establishing new and healthy lifestyles and a love for America’s natural treasures. All of the eight non-profits were selected to work with the National Park Service to build lasting relationships between communities and local parks while inspiring a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts that will support and champion park issues.

 

The non-profits that received funding include:

  • Latino Outdoors: Central Valley, CA – Supports ongoing efforts to introduce youth and their families to national parks and other public lands.
  • City of Dreams: San Francisco, CA – Exposes youth living in or near public housing projects to new experiences in national, state and municipal parks.  
  • Earth Team: Berkeley, CA – Trains more than 100 students from Title I minority-enrollment schools to address environmental issues in their communities. 
  • Groundwork Richmond: Richmond, CA – Creates a youth Green Team to revitalize the community while providing environmental education for participants. 
  • Nature Bridge: San Francisco, CA – Provides underserved youth with a year of wilderness explorations, service projects, career workshops and more. 
  • Pogo Park: Richmond, CA – Brings inner-city youth to Yosemite National Park and Muir Woods National Monument to deepen their understanding of nature. 
  • San Leandro Boys & Girls Club: San Leandro, CA – Introduces urban youth to the outdoors through educational experiences and campouts. 
  • Waterside Workshops: Berkeley, CA – Provides low-income teens and young adults with daily opportunities for outdoor recreation.

This partnership initiative is a matching fund program where an equal matching share is required from the non-profit and other project partners. The projects will begin this spring and wrap up in December.

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About the Outdoor Foundation

Charitable arm of Outdoor Industry Association, the Outdoor Foundation is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor leaders and enthusiasts. Through youth engagement, community grant-making, and groundbreaking research, the Foundation works with young leaders and partners to mobilize a major cultural shift that leads all Americans to the great outdoors. In just five years, the Foundation has invested $4 million into 785 not-for-profit and college programs that have connected 200,000 young people to the outdoors. Importantly, 90¢ of every dollar goes directly into this critical work. Visit us at outdoorfoundation.org and outdoornation.org for more information. 

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 10 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management.

About Latino Outdoors

With roots in the past, a presence in the present and vision for the future, Latino Outdoors is a network of leaders committed to engaging Latinos/as in the outdoors, connecting familias and youth with nature, and empowering our community of storytellers to explore and share their personal experiences. Our growing online platform allows participants to creatively document their cultural connections to conservation, the environment, and the Great American Outdoors with the world.


Latino Outdoors Announces New Advisory Board

(LOS ANGELES), June 22, 2016 – After months of excited anticipation, Latino Outdoors (LO) Founder José González has announced the appointment of Richard Rojas Sr., Chuck Rocha, Jenny de la Hoz, Annie Burke, Midy Aponte, and Carol Olson to serve as Latino Outdoors’ first Advisory Board. José adds, “I am excited to announce such a strong team of talented and strategic leaders who are invested in the future and growth of Latino Outdoors. From the beginning, this has been about building a community, and now this support is welcome and critical as our work continues to expand on a national scale.”

As Advisory Board members, appointees will assist Latino Outdoors staff and volunteers with developing policies, procedures and governing guidelines, as well as assisting with the business of operating a new and growing organization. “On behalf of our entire LO Advisory Board, we all are very excited, eager and ready to assist Jose, Graciela Cabello (LO National Director) and their dedicated community of volunteers in supporting LO’S mission and vision” said Richard Rojas, Sr., newly appointed Advisory Board Chair. Rojas also added, “Connecting youth with nature, mentoring the next generation of Latino conservation stewards and telling and sharing the stories of our collective Latino outdoor experience holds special meaning for each of us. So, we are prepared and committed to laying a strong organizational foundation that we are certain others will continue build on.”

Advisory Board members shall serve for two years. At their first meeting, the Advisory Board appointed Richard Rojas to serve as Chairman, Chuck Rocha as Vice-Chairman and Jenny de la Hoz as Secretary.

Richard A. Rojas, Sr., Chairman

After completing a 32-year career with California State Parks — raising from the ranks of journey-level Ranger to District Superintendent, Rojas believes that public service doesn’t end at retirement. Since retiring in 2008, Rojas has become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer assisting kids in foster care, has served as Goleta City Parks & Recreation Commissioner, and continues to serve on a variety of   historic preservation, parks, open-space and youth oriented community organizations. He and his wife Ophelia live in La Habra, CA.

Chuck Rocha, Vice-Chairman

Born and raised in Tyler, Texas, Chuck Rocha followed in his father’s footsteps as a union worker for the Kelly – Springfield Tire Company. Chuck started his union career at 19 as a member of the United Rubber Workers Local 746. He soon after became the youngest officer ever to be elected of Local 746 and later was appointed as National Political Director. Chuck became the only Latino to serve as the National Political Director of a significant U.S. labor union. He served as Dick Gephardt’s and John Edwards’ National Labor Director during the 2004/2008 presidential election cycles.

In 2010, Chuck founded Solidarity Strategies, a consulting firm that specializes in providing political services including mail, phones, and general consulting to progressive candidates, corporations, and non-profits. Solidarity Strategies is a 100% minority owned small business. Clients vary from Vote Vets, NCLR Action Fund to Bernie Sanders for President.

Chuck served on the executive boards of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Labor Council of Latin American Advancement. He currently serves as an Executive Board Member for the Hispanic Lobbyists Association, Demos, and is a Senior Advisor to Bernie Sanders’ Presidential campaign. He is a graduate of the Harvard University Trade Union program.

Chuck frequently makes appearances on the news providing insight on Latino issues and current political races. He is a regular contributor to FOX News as a Latino vote expert and democratic strategist.

Jenny F. de la Hoz, Secretary

Jenny 06Jenny Fabiola de la Hoz’s personal mission is to share her passion and love of the natural world with people from all cultural backgrounds. Born in Colombia and raised in United States, she considers herself a cultural broker who helps decipher and interpret different cultures and systems. She fell in love with nature as young child by watching Jacques Cousteau on television despite living in a very urban environment not close to the ocean. She has taught for over 20 years in both formal and informal environments always with an eye to equity and inclusion. When she is not working, she loves to hang out with her family and dog, read, binge watch shows and documentaries, and dance hula.

Annie Burke

Annie BurkeAnnie Burke is Deputy Director at the Bay Area Open Space Council, a regional network of organizations and agencies protecting and stewarding parks, open spaces, and farmlands. She leads three key aspects of the Open Space Council’s work: the ‘Communications and Outreach’ program area  including the Outdoor Voice program and diversity and inclusion efforts; ‘Convening and Community Building’ program area which includes   Gatherings   and   the   Open   Space   Conference; the organization’s fundraising department.

In 2015 she produced a film Here and Now which tells four stories of partnerships between Native Americans and land conservation organizations. The film has been accepted into film festivals and has been shown at a variety of conferences and events.

Prior to the Open Space Council, Annie held a variety of roles in small and large nonprofits in the Bay Area. She was Director of Development at Rubicon Programs for 5 years, and there she more than tripled the unrestricted revenue for the $15m nonprofit. In consulting roles at the Women’s Earth Alliance and the Business Council for Climate Change, Annie learned about the power of convening people around shared values and goals while she worked on fundraising from diverse sources. She spent 4 years in the national offices at Kaiser Permanente deeply involved with change management, organization development, and process redesign. Annie started Outside Kids which makes it easier for families to get outside together. Annie has a B.A. in Psychology from Denison University and a Masters in Organization Development from the University of San Francisco.

Carol Olson

Carol head shotCarol Olson is the founder and principal of Basecamp Strategies, partnering with non-profit organizations, foundations, and other collaborators to engage young people in the outdoors and advance environmental stewardship. She brings her 20-year background in non-profit and foundation management to find collaborative solutions to complex problems. Previously, Carol was the Director of Environment & Stewardship Programs with the Morgan Family Foundation where she spearheaded major collaborative initiatives, including the Northern Sierra Partnership, the California Stewardship Network, and the Environmental Education Funders Collaborative. Carol served for ten years as the President/CEO of the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce, where her cooperative approach engaged the business, government and non-profit sectors to better serve the community at large.

Midy Aponte

Midy Aponte is an accomplished communication strategist whose collective work experience spans the public, private, and government sector.

She is currently a vice president at Spitfire Strategies, a campaign planning and training firm serving foundations and non-profits based in Washington, D.C. She reports into the agency’s San Francisco office.

Between 2011 and 2014, Midy served as the Founding Executive Director of  the   American   Latino   Heritage   Fund   (ALHF)  of   the National Park Foundation. A position created by the Former Secretary of the Department of Interior, Ken Salazar. Her charge was to build a national non-profit fund, ALHF, and inspire awareness of historic preservation, outdoor recreation, and conservation and stewardship of national parks among American Latino audiences.

In 2009, she founded her own consultancy, The Sánchez Ricardo Agency, aimed at building strategies for reaching Hispanic audiences through social media.

Midy’s career began in 1999 at Golin where she worked for more than six years in public health communications. She joined the reputation management firm, Walker Marchant in 2006 and gained valuable experience in corporate communications, litigation and reputation management, public affairs, and diversity and inclusion counsel.

When not on a plane, train or automobile, Midy can be found at the gym, or hosting brunches and dinner parties. She is a graduate of Florida International University and is an alumna of the National Hispana Leadership Institute’s Executive Leadership Program Class of 2011 and the Hispanic Leaders Program with the U.S. Spain Council’s Class of 2014.

A native of Miami, FL, Midy relocated to Denver, Colorado after a decade in Washington.

Jose Gonzalez, Ex-Officio

jose bioJosé González is an experienced educator in formal and informal education in the arts, education, conservation, and the environment. He has broad experience as a K-12 public education teacher, environmental education advisor, outdoor education instructor and coordinator, and university adjunct faculty. He received his B.A at the University of California, Davis, and his M.S at the University Of Michigan School Of Natural Resources & Environment. He is the Founder of Latino Outdoors, a founding member of the Latino Conservation Alliance, a Board Member for California Releaf, and serves on the Urban Committee of the National Park Service Advisory Board, among other steering committee appointments.

 

 


Recreation.gov and Latino Outdoors Announce Partnership During National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15, 2015Recreation.gov and Latino Outdoors will celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15) by kicking off a partnership to highlight the great work by many within the Latino(a) community who dedicate themselves to connecting Latino culture, or “cultura” and community to the outdoors.

“Recreation.gov, the flagship of the Recreation One Stop program, represents the desire of all of its partner agencies to help people connect to public lands and waters throughout the country,” said Rick DeLappe, Recreation One Stop program manager. “By working with Latino Outdoors, we can bring more attention to a network of conservation-­‐
minded explorers who share their passion for the outdoors. Their stories are contagious – inspiring stewardship and exploration of our federal lands and
waterways.”

“Our goal is to encourage members of our community, especially any who have experienced the Great Outdoors for the first time, to share their stories of a particularly challenging hike, seeing wildlife at a refuge, or maybe what it felt like to sleep in a tent for the first time,” said Jose Gonzalez, Founder of Latino Outdoors. “By telling our stories, the community helps define what it means to have a Latino(a) identity in relation to the outdoors. Stories have power and they say many things about the cultural traditions and values we hold—especially our love and connections with our open spaces. We are excited about this campaign with Recreation.Gov, stemming from a partnership with Active Network earlier this year, and part of a larger strategic alliance, to work together to identify and increase Latino engagement in the outdoors. Both partnerships allow us to amplify our storytelling and demonstrate the diversity of engagement in our public lands and outdoor recreation.”

Beginning September 15, Recreation.gov will feature experiences from volunteer Latino Outdoor Ambassadors from across the country. Visitors will also be encouraged to join Recreation.gov through Facebook and Instagram and share stories, photos or videos of their outdoor experiences using #LatinoOutdoors.

“Launching this partnership for National Hispanic Heritage Month provides a platform to reflect upon and inspire us to discover and enjoy the cultural influences from long ago to the present—and recognize this multi-­‐ cultural heritage as the unifying fabric of this country,” said DeLappe.

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Recreation One-­‐Stop is a recreation trip-­‐planning, reservation and information sharing platform for the nation’s federal lands. Visitors to Recreation.gov can reserve campgrounds, apply for river permits, schedule a tour, discover points-­‐of-­‐ interest near major cities, learn about destinations, and so much more. The Recreation One-­‐Stop program is a joint initiative among federal agency partners including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, National Archives and Records Administration, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

With roots in the past, a presence in the present and vision for the future, Latino Outdoors is a network of leaders committed to engaging Latinos/as in the outdoors, connecting familias and youth with nature, and empowering our community of storytellers to explore and share their personal experiences. Our growing online platform allows participants to creatively document their cultural connections to conservation, the environment, and the Great American Outdoors with the world.