3 snowboarders in Aspen, Colorado
Photo credit: Aspen Skiing Compnay

Outdoor Scholarships: BIPOC and Women’s Opportunities This Year

Looking for more resources, be it for education funding or outdoor experience? We’ve got you covered. Check out the latest options for outdoor scholarship programs here.

There’s still a lack of diversity in the outdoors. Thankfully, there are many organizations, nonprofit groups, brands, and individuals taking action to change that. Given the COVID-induced cancellation of many scheduled regional meetups, education courses, and the like, we decided to create a roundup of opportunities still on the radar for this upcoming year.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, and we’ll update it as more programming opportunities become available. Scholarships listed here have application deadlines ranging from this March to December 2021.


Editor’s note: Many scholarship programs, in addition to dozens of organizations like NOLS and AMGA that also offer education courses, are open to all applicants. In this article, we focus on programs with specific provisions for BIPOC and female applicants to help increase equity in the outdoors and the outdoor industry.


BIPOC Scholarship Resources

The Elevation Grant: organized by Marmot and outdoor photographer L. Renee, this grant is for BIPOC content creators in the outdoor sphere. The grant offers a $16,000 cash stipend and $6,000 credit towards gear. Applications close July 8.

Eddie Bauer One Outside Film Grant program: Eddie Bauer’s program awards six $10,000 grants to BIPOC filmmakers. Filmmakers will also receive support through workshops with the brand’s One Outside community leaders. Eddie Bauer is accepting applications now through April 18, 2021.

Spyder and National Brotherhood of Skiers Scholarship Program: The first year of this scholarship, sponsored by Spyder and NBS, is open to Black junior skiers. “The scholarship program will sponsor three junior Black skiers per year until they earn their high school diplomas,” said Spyder in a Facebook post.

Black man wearing SPYDER goggles while downhill skiing and smiling

EDGE Outdoors Snow Sports Scholarships: This scholarship program for women of color “[addresses] the invisibility of WOC in snowsports by eliminating entry cost barriers.” The 2021-2022 scholarship application process opens in fall 2021.

A Quick Brown Fox Thee Abundance Mini Grant Program: This cycling-focused grant program, organized by pro cyclist Ayesha Rosena Anna McGowan, is open to Black and Brown women of color. “5-7 women of color will receive free entry and support to race the Tour of America’s Dairyland,” wrote organizers.

AMGA x Outdoor Prolink BIPOC Scholarship: 2022 scholarship applications open in May 2021.

how to gym climb pointers questions new climber
Photo credit: Nate Mitka

Climbing4Change BIPOC Climbing Grants: Kai Lightner’s foundation is offering its first round of grants for BIPOC individuals this year. The $1,000 grants can cover programming, equipment, travel, and competition costs, or AMGA education. Learn more and apply here.

Outdoor Afro x Backroads Travel Underground Railroad Bike Tour: The tour is planned for October 2021 on the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina and includes biking, hiking, and kayaking. Join now.

No Man’s Land Film Festival Black Filmmaker Grant: This grant is “an opportunity for Black female filmmakers, storytellers, and athletes to come together and pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.” One winner will be awarded $2,500. Check out the application for 2022.

AMGA x Black Diamond BIPOC SPI Course (paid course, scholarships available): This single-pitch climbing instructor education course is scheduled for July 9-11, 2021. Scholarships are offered through a reimbursement process. (Applications are closed for 2021; AMGA will notify this year’s winners between March 29 and April 5.)

National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Diversity Scholarships: Recipients receive complimentary NRPA Annual Conference registration, a travel stipend, and hotel expenses reimbursed. Applications are open until March 26, 2021.

Women’s Scholarship Resources

Orvis 50/50 on the Water ProgramThis program offers scholarships and educational opportunities for women in fishing and paddling. A portion of proceeds from each Orvis 50/50 on the Water campaign hat or T-shirt “goes to creating more fishing courses, resources, and experiences for women.”

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AMGA Women’s Scholarships (sponsored by Mammut, Eddie Bauer, Outdoor Research, and more): Full scholarships to AMGA courses are available. 2022 scholarship applications open in May 2021.

AWExpeditions 2022 Summit Scholarship Program: $7,500 with two different mountaineering scholarship opportunities; applications for 2022 will open later this year. (Due to COVID-19, the 2020 scholarship expeditions are taking place in September 2021.)

Jones “Live Like Liz” Award: Winners of this snowboarding grant receive $1,500, plus a Jones splitboard, skins, and a backpack. Applications open Oct. 1, 2021.

Blizzard-Tecnica Women2Women Education Scholarship Program: Applications for 2022 will be open from Dec. 1 to 31, 2021, with the scholarships being awarded in January 2022. 2021 was the inaugural year of this scholarship program; Blizzard awarded over $15,000 to 18 scholarship recipients.

SheJumps Snowpack ScholarshipThis program “provides an educational bridge” for women in snowsports. SheJumps will announce the dates for the 2021 application cycle later this year.

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Mary Murphy
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Mary is based out of GearJunkie's Denver, CO office. She has a degree in English and Journalism, and been writing professionally for over five years. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.