Orvis is committed to making fly fishing and the outdoors more inclusive.
Orvis’s vision is to inspire the world to love the adventure and wonder in nature. For us, an inspired world is one that is inclusive, equitable, and without barriers. One that is achieved by being vulnerable, acknowledging privilege, exploring blind spots, engaging in uncomfortable conversations, and effecting change.
In the summer of 2020, Orvis became the first company to sign the Angling for All (AFA) Pledge. Created by Brown Folks Fishing, the pledge establishes a commitment and resource for the fishing industry to identify and eliminate barriers for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, creating a more inclusive and equitable sport and lasting change.
“We are honored and grateful to have such a strong partnership with the team at Brown Folks Fishing,” says Orvis President Simon Perkins. “Their mission to build capacity, access, resources, visibility, and a solid community for anglers of color makes the sport stronger, and we are excited to sign the pledge as an acknowledgment of our commitment to this critical work. This is an opportunity for us to explore our own blind spots and unconscious biases and an important step forward in Orvis’s history of passion and commitment to access, inclusion, and stewardship in fly fishing.”
Signing the Angling for All Pledge is a commitment to action. Organizations and individuals who sign commit to:
- Completing the Angling for All curriculum.
- Creating and committing to a plan of action upon its completion.
The Angling for All curriculum is designed to make participants better informed and equipped to tackle racism and inequality in the angling community. Created and led by Erica Nelson and Sydney Clark of REAL Consulting in partnership with Brown Folks Fishing, the curriculum is customized for each signee, recognizing that not all individuals or organizations are the same, and each will take their own unique paths toward eliminating barriers and creating change in the industry. The pledge seeks to dismantle systemic barriers to entry and participation at all levels of the fishing industry, as well as the related conservation community. For brands and organizations, this includes building strategies for enhancing equity and diversity across staff and executive teams, media and marketing, athletes and ambassadors, and individuals and guides.
We’ve begun the work at Orvis
Here are some of the steps we’ve taken since signing the Angling for All Pledge:
- 100 Orvis associates have completed the Angling for All curriculum.
- Orvis has donated $15,000 worth of gear for Brown Folks Fishing fishing labs—workshops teaching fly-fishing skills to people of color.
- We’ve created a cross-departmental Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity (JEDI) Committee to implement the AFA curriculum and to assess organizational needs to ensure continued growth.
- We’ve increased representation in our online storytelling, social media, and our catalogs.
We are excited to continue working with Brown Folks Fishing and other organizations to make fly fishing and conservation more reflective of American society. Signing the Angling for All Pledge is just a first step toward these goals.
Guides, instructors, outfitters, media platforms, organizations, brands, companies, and other professionals across the fishing industry are encouraged to apply.