Love Is King squashes the fear in the outdoors and provides equitable access and resolute safety to ensure an enriching and exhilarating experience in nature.
LIK Operation Roam (Rapid Ongoing Advance Missions) is to provide an opportunity for BIPOC leaders to step into the realm of public land and freshwater conservation efforts and disrupt the historical system that allowed BIPOC voices of not being invited to government spaces where the decisions were made about land and wildlife and indigenous conservation policies.
Love is King will take BIPOC Leaders to an environmentally threatened and fragile environment (a place that will be determined in collaboration with participating conservation group sponsor). This BIPOC group will experience and live on this land for two weeks, learn the threats the land is facing, meet with members of indigenous communities and various government and local stakeholders living there. Participants will become environmental warriors of this land ready to protect it and advocate for it. After returning home, they will use their voices, talents, and skills to speak up and fight for this land, its inhabitants and its wildlife. They will create projects, blogs, webinars, meet with members of Congress, use social media in creative ways to elevate their voices of advocacy and influence and hold space for diverse representation in conservation and helping policy efforts for public lands, freshwater and wildlife.
by Dr.Lisa Collins
LIK ROAM LEADER/ GUIDE DR. Lisa Collins
When I visited Alaska with Love is King Project Roam, I was venturing into a new territory of outdoor adventure and experiences. When Chad Brown introduced the opportunity to travel to Alaska, something deep inside me said yes. I attended an Alaska National Wildlife Refuge deployment in July of 2022. We were honored to stay on the native lands of the Gwichʼin at the Arctic Village and learn about their way of life, customs, and challenges. I returned from this trip forever changed, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The land’s beauty, awe, and vastness were like nothing I had seen in my lifetime.
Dr. Lisa Collins Getting her gear ready to hike into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Dr. Lisa Collins, and LIK – ROAM Leaders group shot coming back from spending two nights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
LIK-ROAM Leaders learning indigenous teachings from Gwichin elder member
The generosity of the Gwichʼin people was overwhelming. As they struggled with climate change and the effects of drilling on their livelihood, the porcupine caribou herd did not change their care and love for us. As we were leaving our visit to the Arctic village in the Brooks range in the Arctic, I asked Gwichʼin Second Chief Leonard if I could interview him. I asked him what he would want the people in the lower 48 to know. He said he wanted people to know they were there to protect the land for future generations and the world. Gwichʼin Second Chief Leonard wanted people in the lower 48 to understand what was occurring in the lands of the Arctic and that the native peoples there are stewards of the caribou, land, and water not just for themselves but also for the world. He spoke of the changes in the land, water, and animals. The rivers are drying up, and the animals and habitats are changing. Gwichʼin Second Chief Leonard wants the lower 48 to know attention is needed in Alaska. It is ground zero for climate change, and what happens there will affect the lives of all. He asked us to see the changes and help protect the national land. I was inspired to use my voice and interaction to advocate for the people and land in Alaska.
LIK-ROAM Leaders group shot infront of Gwichin home.
LIK ROAM Leaders group shot on capital hill.
LIK ROAM LEADERS Meeting with Alaska Wilderness League (Prep meeting before going to the capital hill), Monica covering strategies around the importance of the arctic refuge and the sharing about the Willow Project.
When asked, I was excited to share my experience in Alaska with members of Congress. With the support of the Alaska Wilderness League, the trip to Washington D.C. with Love Is King aligned the intention to advocate for the people and land in Alaska. Alaska’s people, land, and animals need my voice of advocacy.
Meeting with members of congress staff was a new experience for me. I have been to Washington D.C. many times but have yet to visit any member of congress office. If it felt a bit like going to the principal’s office at first, but that feeling quickly fell away. Everyone was kind and welcoming, and seeing a bit of carpet from our Portland International Airport in each Oregon office was a warm feeling.
Different offices had pictures of the state represented and even snacks from the state. I had nine meetings in three days. On day one, we met with Michael Tejada, Director of the Office of Environmental Justice Environmental protection Agency. We shared our experiences in Alaska and heard about the agency’s work in the same regard. My takeaway from that meeting is that there is a stark reality to all that is needed to protect Alaska.
The following day a small group of us met with staff from Sen. Walrnock from Georgia, Sen. Booker from New Jersey, Sen. Wyden from Oregon, Minority Leader Jefferies, Rep. Blumeauer from Oregon, Rep. Bonamici from Oregon, and Rep. Lee from California. It was quite a day! In some of our meetings, we gathered in the office of the Senator or Representative. It was like looking into the world of Congress. The wheels were turning, and all we met with appreciated our stories. There was an authentic yearning to know more, visit, and support the people in Alaska. I felt like I was doing what Gwichʼin Second Chief Leonard asked of me when I was at the Arctic Village.
I was surprised about how touched I was to meet with the staff of my Representative, Bonamici, and connect with Sen. Wyden and Merkley. I felt a sense of pride, ownership, and dedication for being there and witnessing the work each supported in the nation. I was also moved by how much each person we met cared about our trip, wanted to hear our stories, and held the reality of what could be done to protect this precious land. Each had a fire of change agent and care; it left an impression about what happens in Washington, D.C., and the hard-working people we met there.
The next day we had two additional meetings to end our visit in Washington D. C.; one was with staff from Rep. Jayapal from Washington, and the other was with the Sen. Merkley of Oregon. After so many meetings, one would think I would be tired, but that was not the case; aspects of my time in Alaska that I had not shared were discussed in these final meetings. As a woman of color, I was humbled by the diversity and pride in the offices of Rep. Lee from California and Rep. Jayapal from Washington. I felt proud to speak my truth and advocate for others in these offices, just like these two women of color.
I left this trip with a sense of pride and devotion to continue sharing, advocating, and working to protect land, people, and animals in Alaska. Traveling to Washington, D. C. and meeting with senators and representative staff regarding environmental justice were life-changing. This trip is another chapter in what I will continue to do for the world, just like Gwichʼin Second Chief Leonard stated.
It’s our moral obligation to take action to ensure that people of color are guaranteed freedom to roam in nature with the assurance of a welcoming and safe experience in the outdoors: recreating, hunting, fishing and in backcountry wilderness, public lands and urban parks.
We’re on a mission to activate, inspire and empower a humanitarian movement that will mobilize citizens of all colors to carry out our humanitarian obligation that will raise our collective consciousness, educate and help facilitate conflict resolution through love, empathy, respect and a true sense of personal responsibility without discrimination.
We realize race and income are significant factors in blocking easy and safe access to the outdoors. We also realize that representation of people of color really matters. We will ensure people of color’s stories, image, experiences, history, culture and leadership are valued and represented. It’s our obligation to inspire new conversations, new points of view and shift perceptions that help to guarantee freedom to roam in nature for all people of color.
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We’re carrying out a humanitarian obligation much like the RED CROSS but our disaster is man made, it’s cultural and it’s systemic. Nature has nothing to do with our diversity disaster. We’re committed to standing up for freedom from fear. The L.I.K S.O.S. Ambassador is mobilizing humanity across America, embracing empathy and leading with love to fostering equity and inclusion and restores our humanity. Our Regional Love is King S.O.S. Ambassadors are outdoor enthusiast and newbies, they are young and old and come in many shades of color. But they’re all ordinary individuals with a deep desire to make extraordinary humanitarian change happen now. Our S.O.S. Ambassadors are agents of change. Changing one person, one perception, one conversation at a time.
S.O.S. Ambassadors take the bold next step into the real world of “Actionable Initiatives.” Our S.O.S. Ambassadors are the leaders of the Love is King movement to mobilize all citizens of every color to carry out our humanitarian obligation through compassion, responsibility, inclusion and equal opportunity to ensure that People of Color have guaranteed access and a safe experiences in the outdoors.
Love is King S.O.S. Ambassadors are experienced outdoor enthusiast and nature curious newbies of all ages, shades and creeds. What they share is a desire to enact change now to make nature safely accessible for all, defending the freedom to roam on our lands and waters.
Tired of sitting on the sidelines? Ready to apply your passion to making the outdoors a safe and welcome place for all? We need you!
L.I.K Guardians will strive to make outdoor spaces places of trust that will always have a welcome and support of safety in the outdoors for POC outdoor groups.
L.I.K Guardians will maintain healthy environments, support and create welcoming access for POC to feel comfortable in the outdoors.
The goal of L.I.K Guardians is to always implement, bridge and expand unconscious bias education in solidarity and mutuality with all POC outdoor groups.
L.I.K Guardians value openness, building trust, encouraging compassion and open-mindedness, and reinforcing our commitment to support the culture of inclusivity in the outdoors with welcoming access and ensured safety.
L.I.K S.O.S. Ambassadors will strive to make outdoor spaces places of trust that will always have a welcome and support of safety in the outdoors for POC outdoor groups.
L.I.K S.O.S. Ambassador will maintain healthy environments, support and create welcoming access for POC to feel comfortable in the outdoors.
The goal of L.I.K S.O.S. Ambassadors is to always implement, bridge and expand unconscious bias education in solidarity and mutuality with all POC outdoor groups.
L.I.K S.O.S. Ambassadors value openness, building trust, encouraging compassion and open-mindedness, and reinforcing our commitment to support the culture of inclusivity in the outdoors with welcoming access and ensured safety.
Love is King provides the opportunity and responsibility to increase representation of people of color, establishing access and providing safety in the outdoors. We are demanding that powerful outdoor minded corporations, conservations groups, local and national state senators, congressmen / women and mayors reflect an honor the racial diversity of our country both in consumer facing branding, marketing and image but also to top level leadership in companies and board members down to the breathing culture of every company. The Declaration of Diversity is a statement and commitment to safety and a access for POC in outdoor recreation and back country spaces. This is the critical shift to support and to change negative narratives and support diversity, safety and access in the outdoors and backcountry.
Love is King aims to eliminate fear and establish safety for Black, Indigenous, and all people of color while on our public lands and is committed to creating a reimagined outdoor environment focused on participation, representation, inspiration and advocacy.
The mission of LIK Operation Roam (Rapid Ongoing Advance Missions) is to provide an opportunity for BIPOC individuals (21 and over) to step into the realm of public land and freshwater conservation. Historically, BIPOC voices were not invited in government, congressional or decision making spaces when it comes to wildlife and indigenous policies, recreation, permitting, land management, and advocacy in the outdoors. LIK Roam magnifies the voices of BIPOC Leaders and provides representation where it counts
There is no cost to participate. Further information about Operation Roam will be given to all applicants at a Q&A Zoom meeting.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of the finest examples of wilderness remaining anywhere in the world. Places like Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon define what it means to be American. The Arctic Refuge is one of these places. To that end, members of Congress must join Indigenous leaders and a majority of Americans who support protecting this national treasure.
Alaska Wilderness League in alliance with Love is King is proud to announce the historic launching of the Alaska Wilderness League Activation Council. This marks a unique partnership between a BIPOC organization and a traditional conservation group to unite and cultivate BIPOC leaders to activate their leadership and build advocacy around protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
“We are combining our human capital to defend the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from destructive oil and gas development,” said Chad Brown, found of Love Is King. “We’re learning from and following the leadership of the Gwich’in, who have lived in this place since time began.” Alaska is home to Native Tribes who have, for millennia, relied on Alaska’s lands and waters for their way of life. Alaska is home to an irreplaceable diversity of peoples, wildlife, and ecosystems.
This partnership is uniquely positioned to engage, enlighten and activate Congress to take action to restore long-standing bipartisan protections that have protected the Arctic Refuge from oil and gas development for decades. The Council will help establish dialogue channels and launch conversations with decision makers that have not traditionally been a part of the efforts to protect the Arctic Refuge. Our purpose is to continue to protect and strengthen our current environmental laws, preventing legislative attempts to undermine our environmental progress.
Love is king ROAM leaders, Alaska Wilderness League Task Force
Matt (He/Him) has been doing conservation and restoration work for nearly 5 years. He got started doing internships at the nonprofit Wisdom of the Elders, eventually moving on to crew leading and working full time for years with their LLC. He joined the Green Workforce Academy program to further his skills, which eventually led to him doing the Adult Urban Forestry Program with Friends of Trees and Vancouver Urban Forestry. Matt also has worked as a seasonal hire, working for Portland Parks and Rec: Urban Forestry with their science and outreach division. He now works for Forest Park Conservancy as a Land Stewardship Manager.
Matt is a volunteer member of Multnomah County Search and Rescue, fisherman, a mushroom hunting enthusiast, forager, writer, and a proud citizen of the Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation. Being raised off and on reserve throughout his life made him both connected and disconnected at times to the natural world. Increasing urban and non-urban indigenous peoples’ access and direct stewardship/ownership back to our lands is both a passion for him and an ecological requirement for the world moving forward.
Lisa Collins (she/hers) is an educational professional with 25 years of experience. She holds degrees in psychology and education and works as an assistant professor at Lewis and Clark College and as a business consultant. As a learning and development professional, Lisa supports talent management and business partners to solve workforce challenges. She brings a gender and equity lens to her working environments. Lisa can see multiple perspectives and creates a community. Lisa serves on the Oregon Assembly of Black Affairs, the advisory board for Strategies of Trauma Awareness and Resilience with Eastern Mennonite University, On The Inside, art-based services for incarnated women, and has served on Oregon School Employee Wellness Conference Committee.
Lisa is an environmental justice advocate; she participated in the 2022 Love Is King Project Roam, which allows BIPOC people to step into the realm of public land and freshwater conservation. As a climate advocate, Lisa participated in the Shades of Water. She advocated for the passage of the River Democracy Act, introduced by Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, to protect Oregon rivers. Creatively, Lisa is a playwright with works produced in New York (Manhattan Repertory Theater) and Portland (Hipbone, and Portland Center Stage, the Armory). Her short film, Be Careful What You Ask For, serves as a discussion platform for racial healing discussions and has been accepted into several film festivals.
OPERATION ROAM 2024: Owyhee River Float Description
ROAM DATES: April 7 – 11, 2023
Chad founded Love is King in 2020 in the midst of the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing. It was Chad’s response to the question so many people were asking him then: “What can I do in the fight against racism? How can I be part of the solution?” Love is King leads with the mission to dismantle the hate, bigotry, ignorance and racism in the outdoors for BIPOC and all marginalized groups to have the opportunity to roam further and bolder in the outdoors and create wonderful memories for themselves without having to face any aggression. The focus of Love is King is increasing the access and safety in the outdoors. Brown is also the founder and president of Soul River Inc., a nonprofit organization that focuses on connecting veterans and introducing diverse urban youth of color to the outdoors, nature conservation and growing young leaders into advocacy for our public lands, wildlife and freshwater. He is also a Navy veteran, accomplished documentary style portrait photographer where he has been commissioned to shoot for the New York Times and operates as a creative director/ head photographer for Chado Communication Design. Chad often pursues adventures in the back country overlanding, and he has been selected as part of 2022 Team Ford Bronoco athletes. He is passionate about off-roading; he is an outdoorsman, bow hunter, conservationist and leading outdoor leadership teams into the Arctic Circle. He is especially passionate about working closely with indigenous nations, as well as working for environmental justice on public lands, raising awareness through education, providing access, inclusivity, and safety for everyone but especially for people of color in the outdoors. Brown is a board member of the Alaska Wilderness League and a has been featured on BBC, CBS, and National Geographic / Natgeo Wild’s survival reality TV series “Called to the Wild”, as well as in national publications such as Outside Magazine and The Drake, and in various Pacific Northwest publications. Additionally, Brown was the first recipient of the Breaking Barriers Award presented by Orvis, as well as the Bending Toward Justice Award from Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley.
“Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
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Safety, Access and Healing in nature Is KING for us! “Stories Of Silence” is about stories of women, BIPOC, people from marginalized communities, and the LGBTQ community addressing FEAR in the outdoors told from their personal lens! “Stories over Silence” is great for people to listen to and learn from without addressing a person and making them feel uncomfortable.