AORE Announces 2017 Keynote Speaker: Outdoor Afro CEO Rue Mapp

Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education Announces 2017 Keynote Speaker: Outdoor Afro CEO Rue Mapp

Rue Mapp brings groundbreaking community experience to community-themed Annual Conference
ANN ARBOR, MICH. – February 28, 2017 – Rue Mapp, founder and CEO of Outdoor Afro, will be the keynote speaker at the AORE 2017 Annual Conference in Roanoke, Va., this November, which is focused on the theme of community. Outdoor Afro works to celebrate and inspire African American connections and leadership in nature. “I am ecstatic that attendees will be able to hear and engage with Rue, as AORE members are seeking understanding and avenues to expand the outdoor community,” said AORE Executive Director Jeannette Stawski.

Mapp started Outdoor Afro as a blog in 2009, and it has since become a national nonprofit organization with networks around the country, including more than 60 leaders in 28 states who connect thousands of people to outdoor experiences.

Outdoor Afro’s approach is grounded in personal connections and community organizing. The group has been widely recognized for its work promoting the importance of diversity in the outdoors. Both Outdoor Afro and AORE trip leaders introduce and connect people to the outdoors, and both organizations extol the value of nature and outdoor recreation.

“Rue is able to engage audiences with a call to action and articulate how individual actions, unified, can make collective change,” Stawski said. “The Roanoke host team, and AORE as a whole, are exploring ways to use conference education sessions on diversity, equity, and inclusion to not only inform but also transfer theory to practice when attendees return to their communities.”
Mapp has been recognized by The Root 100 as one of the most influential African Americans in the country, and she has received the Outdoor Industry Inspiration Award and the National Wildlife Federation Communication award. She was appointed to the California State Parks Commission by Governor Jerry Brown.

AORE 2017 will be held November 1-3. The Annual Conference brings together outdoor programmers, teachers, leaders, students, and supporters from college and university non-credit recreational programs and degree-granting programs, military bases, community recreation centers, and other not-for-profit outdoor programs. It delivers transformational learning opportunities that advance individuals, programs, and organizations in the field of outdoor and adventure education.

About AORE
The association’s mission is to provide opportunities for professionals and students in the field of outdoor recreation and education to exchange information, promote the preservation and conservation of the natural environment, and address issues common to college, university, community, military, and other not-for-profit outdoor recreation and education programs. Visit us at

About the AORE Annual Conference
Outdoor programmers, teachers, leaders, students and supporters from college and university non-credit recreational programs and degree granting programs, military bases, community recreation centers and other not-for-profit outdoor programs find the AORE conference is the year's most important event for career development. For several days in late October and early November, outdoor professionals come together to share ideas, learn new techniques and re-energize themselves for another year. The AORE conference is the gathering of friends and colleagues, a place to improve performance and meet new people in your field. Learn more at

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