Out actor, filmmaker, and advocate Lena Waithe (Master of None) has been tapped to co-lead The North Face’s new Explore Fund Council. The fund has been around for more than a decade, incentivizing outdoor participation through grants to various nonprofits, but North Face wanted to do more. The new council gives voice to traditionally underrepresented communities to increase access to nature and outdoor recreation that has been predominantly seen as the domain of cis, straight, white Americans.
Waithe joins Academy Award-winning director Jimmy Chin (Free Solo) to distribute $7 million in grants to organizations that will help Black, Indigenous, and other people of color venture outdoors in greater numbers.
Eric Raymond, The North Face’s director of social impact and advocacy, says they recruited Waithe to represent and speak to those traditionally outside the outdoor industry. “Lena’s experience in Hollywood is incredibly valuable,” Raymond says. “She brings a unique perspective on how to impact culture, create opportunities, and tell stories.”
The fund has already helped thousands of BIPOC experience the bene ts of nature. The star power of those involved in this new e‑ ort will introduce even more folks to the joy of adventuring into the great outdoors.