Emmy award-winning director and actress Lena Waithe has been championing for inclusivity and equality since the beginning of her career. From being the first Black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing, to the founding of her production company, Hillman Grad, Lena has breathed fresh air into the entertainment industry and used her platform to elevate marginalized communities in film, television and in pop culture overall.
In continuing the spirit of championing for underrepresented communities, Lena is now lending her voice to a new partnership with The North Face apparel brand on an initiative that’ll advocate for and create change around the lack of diversity in the outdoors. Their new Reset Normal campaign is meant to encourage people of color around the globe to reset their “normal” lives through the power of exploration in hopes of progress and discovery in spite of these challenging times.
As it currently stands, communities of color are more likely to live in nature-deprived areas, mostly due to systemic challenges, and when these communities attempt to explore outside of their familiar neighborhoods, they are usually met with racism or other challenges rooted in inequality and hate. The outdoors and the ability to explore should be and is for everyone in theory, however, many communities of color feel that in our current climate, that just simply isn’t the case.
With the help of The North Face, Lena will lead the charge in tackling these issues through the Rest Normal campaign’s new fellowship program: the Explore Fund Council. The Council will bring experts together from across various industries to create solutions that support exploration while guiding how The North Face directs commitments in building equity in the outdoors.
“For me, exploration has always been a mindset. As a creative I see myself as a constant, curious explorer and I believe everyone can have and should have access to this right,” said Lena Waithe in an official statement. “The only real way to see change happen is by helping to create it yourself. I’m excited to work with The North Face and all of the Explore Fund Council members so our collective perspectives can help diversify the outdoors and make it a more equal place for all.”
Lena and the Council will work with creatives, academic experts, outdoor industry partners and more to develop ideas that facilitate change. Their year one goal is to focus on creating more culturally relevant exploration opportunities and connecting communities to the benefits of exploration.
The Reset Normal campaign will also launch with pledges from the brand’s ambassadors about how they plan to reset their normal and help advocate for change. The North Face also plans to release Instagram AR lenses and TikTok filters to encourage social users to get involved and spread the word on how they too plan to reset their normal in 2020.
Learn more about The North Face call to Reset Normal and the Explore Fund Council at www.thenorthface.com.