2017 Force of Nature: Women Speaker Series


OutdoorFest is teaming up with REI to tell stories of adventurers, makers, and rule-breakers. This is part of REI's larger Force of Nature initiative, putting women front and center to bring women together outdoors, declaring outside the largest level playing field on Earth.

May 24

This month’s event in the series is titled “Engaging Girls and Women in the Outdoors: A conversation on mentorship”.  A life lived outdoors begins in childhood, but not every child has the same access or relationship to the outdoors.

Presented as a panel, and moderated by Sarah Knapp, Founder of OutdoorFest, hear from nonprofit leaders from Stoked, SheJumps, and Sierra Club ICO, who work to bring youth, including girls, into the great outdoors. Not only will you learn what’s working and why, but how you can get involved in volunteering and mentorship to change someone’s life. Venue graciously provided by REI’s partner, the Appalachian Mountain Club, in collaboration with the YMCA.

May 24th | 6:30pm - 8:30pm | Upper West YMCA

June 28

This month’s event in the series is titled “Women on the Water: The Rising Tide of Women Rowers, Paddlers, and Changemakers”. Hear from New Yorker and expedition paddler, Julieta Gismondi about breaking down barriers and mixing paddling with advocacy. Next, Amanda Kraus, who will highlight the community and mentorship program she’s built through Row New York. We’ll finish the night with an open forum to talk about how connecting women to water sports leads to personal, professional, and collective success. Thank you to REI's partner, Friends of the High Line, for hosting us. All are welcome to this free event. Registration is required.

June 28th | 6:30pm - 8:30pm | The High Line: The Diller - Von Furstenberg Building

July 26

This month’s event in the series is titled “From Dirt Trails to City Streets, Women Belong on Bikes”. Tonight we'll be discussing the intersection between women and the world of cycling with Kristen Phillips of women's cycling coaching service Art of Cycling NYC, and Anna Maria Diaz-Balart, the Founder of online women cycling magazine Pretty Damned Fast. These two experts have worked to connect women to bikes through media, coaching, and the creation of community spaces. Join us and add your thoughts to the conversation on how to get even more women on bikes. Thank you to Paulaner Brewhouse for hosting us and REI for providing the first beer for the first 60 participants. All are welcome to this free event. Registration is required. 

July 26th | 6:30pm - 8:30pm | Paulaner Brewhouse

August 30

This month’s event in the series is titled “Anchor, Adapt, and Ascend: Using Climbing as a Road to Character and Community Building”. We’ll use the lens of rock climbing to address how to make the outdoors inclusive and accessible to everyone. What does a culture that’s both diverse and inclusive look like in the climbing world? What efforts are being made to ensure this happens? Hear from Kade Diakite of Brooklyn Boulders and Kareemah Batts of the Adaptive Climbing Group on their experiences and programs that make climbing more accessible. Thank you to Threes Brewing for hosting us. All are welcome to this free event. Registration is required.

August 30th | 7:00pm - 9:00pm | Threes Brewing (Community Room)

September 27

 Our September edition is titled: "Changing the conversation: Hiking and biking as means for social change", and it features Katina Grays from Outdoor Afro and Courtney Williams of Brown Bike Girl. From hiking and camping to cycling and urban transportation, learn how these women are actively creating more inclusion in the outdoors for all people. Outdoor Afro has become the nation's leading, cutting edge network that celebrates and inspires African American connections and leadership in nature. Brown Bike Girl partners with local government, non-profits, and institutions to increase bicycling access and adoption for communities of color, and bicycling education for all. Thank you to Paulaner Brewhouse for hosting us. Happy hour pricing for the event--and the first 20 guests get a beer on REI! All are welcome to this free event. Registration is required.

September 27th | 6:30pm - 9:30pm | Paulaner Brewing | REGISTER