The topic of climate change comes up often in the outdoor sphere. And next week, the crossover between climate advocates and industry workers will be bigger than ever.
A climate rally is coming to Denver on January 31 during our nation’s biggest outdoor industry expo — Outdoor Retailer. And it’s no secret that the timing was intentional.
Ski mountaineer Caroline Gleich and activist Katie Boué, founder of the Outdoor Advocacy Project, are organizing the event.
“We’re rallying at the Colorado Capitol on January 31, while our industry is convened in Denver, to show that our community will not tolerate federal government inaction on climate,” wrote the organizers on the event page.
“Our industry and community at large are responsible for harnessing our collective power to drive systemic change.”
Gleich and Boué also made it clear they timed the event to support local student strikers in Denver. Two youth activists will speak at the rally.
“We aren’t protesting the Outdoor Retailer Show, or Colorado, with this event,” said Gleich. “There’s never a convenient time to rally around climate, but this is a natural opportunity to align with youth activists and show our support, and to show how our industry can lead on climate.”
Together, Boué and Gleich spoke with local organizations, Patagonia’s environmental team, and even a former presidential climate policy advisor to garner support for the rally.
The Climate Rally will start at 1:30 p.m. outside the Convention Center and include a march to the Capitol. The rally will host speakers including snowboarder Jeremy Jones and ultrarunner Clare Gallagher, as well as youth activist speakers Haven Coleman and 9-year-old Madhvi Chittoor. The rally will end around 4 p.m.
Conservation organizations supporting the rally include 350 Colorado, Protect Our Winters, Wilderness Society, Big Mountain Dreams, and more. In addition, Outdoor Retailer itself may also make an appearance at the rally.
“Both OIA and OR received the event positively and are ironing out their ability to support,” said Boué.
In addition to the rally, there will be a sign-making session on January 29 at the Protect Our Winters party at the McNichols building in downtown Denver. Patagonia’s Denver store also plans on hosting a sign-making session for rally attendees.
“As a professional ski mountaineer, I realize that those of us who are able to go outside for recreation are privileged,” wrote Gleich on social media. “It is imperative that we recognize our privilege and do everything we can to protect the environment.”
To register for the event as a speaker or supporter, or to learn more, visit the Facebook page here. The event is open to the public.