Alumni of Color Retreat

Dear HMI Community,

My name is Emy Takinami and I am excited to be planning and coordinating HMI’s first ever Alumni of Color Retreat this summer. HMI was crucial in my personal development and environmental awareness and has helped mold me into the person I am today.

As a student at HMI in Semester 25, I gained a great deal of self-awareness and confidence, a genuine positive attitude toward learning, and a newfound appreciation and concern for the natural environment and the effect of people’s actions upon it. I now want to help ensure that all students, especially students of color, get the same opportunities that HMI has to offer.

As I’m sure you’d agree, the opportunities that HMI, and outdoor education as a whole, have to offer should be open to all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. However, as alumni of color, we know this is not always the case. HMI’s Alumni of Color Retreat will be the first step in ensuring that HMI, and the outdoors in general, be open and accessible to youth who have not traditionally had access to these opportunities. As alumni of color, the Retreat will provide space to share our unique experiences with each other and build solidarity and community.

More broadly, this Retreat will ensure a platform to voice our collective feedback on how to best support current and future students of color at HMI and beyond. I see this Retreat as HMI’s first step in the ongoing journey to continue serving and supporting this important, growing population of our future leaders and environmental stewards. I hope you’ll join us in June for this exciting step forward!

Gratefully,
Emy Takinami
Semester 25 Alumna, Summer Term 2015 Intern, and co-leader of HMI’s first Alumni of Color Retreat