Sunday, September 25, 2022

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    Clif Bar and Venus Williams conspire to make the outdoors accessible to all

    To help underserved communities enjoy nature’s benefits, Clif has joined forces with Venus Williams and Outdoor Afro.

    There’s still time for everyone to reconnect with nature this summer, no matter the barriers they face.

    Energy bar brand Clif is teaming with tennis champion and entrepreneur Venus Williams, as well as the nonprofit Outdoor Afro, to debut a nationwide initiative promoting accessibility to the outdoors for those experiencing economic, social and emotional limitations. The new program will be executed through Clif’s employee-led philanthropic program Clif Corps and underscore Outdoor Afro’s mission to foster Black connections in nature.

    “The outdoors and sport are fundamental to Clif Bar’s founding story and experiencing nature is a key part of who we are as a brand,” says Clif’s vice-president of brands Jodi Olson. “At the same time, we realize millions of Americans are unable to experience the physical, social and emotional benefits of spending time outdoors. That’s why we felt it was so important to bring together some of our biggest assets … to help create more opportunities for equity and access.”

    To kick off the initiative, Clif will sponsor and provide products for various Outdoor Afro events across the country during the latter part of summer. Some events will entail a hike to Denver’s Lake Haiyaha on August 27, kayaking under a harvest moon in Atlanta on September 10 and camping on North Carolina’s Outer Banks on September 16. The complete event list can be found on Clif Corp’s website.

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    Then, Clif will partner with the National Park Service and other community groups on various giving and service programs to expand accessibility to the outdoors even further.

    Along with events and give-back initiatives, Clif released a co-branded, four-minute video on YouTube. In the film, Williams hikes Virginia’s Historic Key Beach with Outdoor Afro’s founder and chief executive Rue Mapp, who discusses the history and mission of the organization. “Our goal is to make a meaningful impact to reconnect Black communities with the outdoors and sports through education, recreation and conservation,” said Williams in a statement.

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    Clif’s latest campaign builds on its history of philanthropy. The company reports donating a total of $66m and over 176,000 service hours to nonprofits since 2000.

    The brand also announced plans to work on more outdoor accessibility efforts with world champion gymnast Suni Lee and paralympic athlete Daniel Romanchuk in the coming months.

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