“The lack of diversity in whitewater paddling isn’t a problem,” said Antoinette Lee Toscano, co-founder of Diversify Whitewater.
“No one’s going to die if we don’t go whitewater kayaking.”
That said, a day on the river can be nourishing for soul, mind, and body. And Diversify Whitewater, a nonprofit organization in Northern Colorado founded by Toscano and Lily Durkee, is working to bring the good vibes of river running to more people of different backgrounds and cultures.
With help from other national and local organizations, Diversify Whitewater organizes community paddling events and skills training for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). By creating a welcoming environment for BIPOC and allies, they are expanding a community that has traditionally drawn primarily white participants.