This blog is about my academic journey and my outdoor adventures. I seems to be that rare or weird bird – a Black woman who enjoys hiking, canoeing, cycling and skiing. These things make me happy. A PhD was the perfect way to combine my love of the outdoors and to get out of my mid-life funk. My research is on the perception of the wilderness in the Black imagination. In other words, how to make the outdoors a more welcoming and inviting space for Black people.

Jacqueline L. Scott is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, OISE, in the department of Social Justice Education. She is a 2021 fellow at the Safina Center.

She is a hike leader with two outdoors clubs. Jacqueline leads Black History Walks in Toronto.  She is the author of travel and adventure books, from a Black perspective:

50 Places: A Black History Travel Guide of London

Heartbeats in Africa: A memoir of travel and love.

Sailing on a Half Moon


Spacing (July 30, 2021). Searching for Black history in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Scott, J. and Tenneti, A. (2021). Race and nature in the city: Engaging youth of colour in nature-based activities. Nature Canada.

Network in Canadian History & Environment (July 7, 2021). Naming a frog after Led Zeppelin is not a fairy tale.

Safina Center (April 6, 2021). Cycling towards justice.

Network in Canadian History & Environment (March 17, 2021). When eBird meets Black birders.

Northern Ontario Travel. (February 22, 2021). Nordic skiing in Sault Ste, Marie.

West End Phoenix (October 2020). Outside chance.

Nature Conservancy of Canada (Fall 2020). Visions of joy.

Greenbelt Foundation (September 2020). Trees, race and Black history.

Northern Ontario Travel. (July 6, 2020). Canoeing in Temagami

The Conversation. (June 2, 2020). What You Should Know About Black Birders

The Conversation. (February 13, 2020). Meet the Black snowshoers who walked 1,000 kilometres across Canada in 1813.

CBC, Player’s Own Voice. (December 18, 2019). Black Canada hike: Claiming our outdoor space.

The Conversation. (October 25, 2018). ‘Do white people dominate the outdoors?’

The Conversation. (October 14, 2018).  Melania Trump’s pith helmet is not just a hat.

The Conversation. (September 28, 2018). ‘Serena Williams did something that even President Barack Obama could not do. She got angry and showed it.’ That Racist Caricature of Serena Williams Makes me so Angry

The Conversation. (August 19, 2018). ‘How many times have I heard that Black people can’t swim because our bones are too dense? Or we can’t float as our big bottoms drag us down under the water?’ Swimming While Black


Toronto Star. (June 5, 2021). Campaign celebrates access to nature for racialized Torontonians — ‘to show that green spaces are not just white spaces’

Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (May 1, 2021). The Sunday Magazine. The intersection of birding and social justice.

The Globe & Mail. (April 21, 2021). Making Toronto’s ravines enjoyable for all.

The Bentway (January 6, 2021). Black and safe in outdoor spaces. Video with Demiesha Dennis.

The Narwhal (September 24, 2020). Toronto’s racialized communities have less access to urban forests: report.

CBC TV, Player’s Own Voice. (June 9, 2020). Black Canada Hike duo talk about how to make outdoor space more inclusive

CBC TV, The National. (June 6, 2020). Black birdwatchers push back against stereotypes, racism with #BlackBirdersWeek

The Globe & Mail, special feature. April 13, 2019. Black history on the Great Trail. Interview on the Black history cities and towns that are on the Trans Canada Trail.

Cottage Life. March 20, 2019. Breaking the colour code of the Canadian cottage experience. Interviewed by Elamin Abdelmahmoud.

Ground Magazine: Ontario Association of Landscape Architects. (2018). Round Table: Confronting marginalization.  Panel interview on stress and marginalization in the city and outdoors. Ground 44, Winter 2018.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: The Current. (October 26, 2018). MEC’s commitment to more diverse models in ads is welcome, if overdue, say critics

National Post. (October 23, 2018). ‘Do white people dominate the outdoors?’ MEC apologizes for using only white models

National Post. (May 24, 2018). Canada’s ‘adventure gap’: Why it doesn’t makes sense for the great outdoors to be such a white space.  ‘There is a sense that the outdoors is a white space, that people of colour don’t belong in that space,’ Jacqueline Scott said in an interview

Talks, Webinars and Conference Presentations

Ontario Urban Forestry Council. (2021). Into the woods: A Black perspective.

Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication (2021). Canoeing while Black: The Canadian version.

Toronto Field Naturalist. (2021). Making nature and the outdoors more welcoming for Black people and recent immigrants.

University of Illinois (2021). Black in the great white north: How race shapes outdoor recreation in Canada.

University of British Columbia, Faculty of Forestry (2021). Black in the outdoors: Navigating outdoor spaces as a Black woman.

University of Cumbria & Mosaic Outdoors (2021). Inclusivity in the outdoors panel. Walking in the woods: Closing the adventure gap.

Forests Ontario (2021). Diversity and inclusivity panel.

Bowdoin College Library (2020). From Audubon to Birdwatching while Black.

Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (2020). Moving beyond diversity.

Queen’s University and York University, ICYMI panel. How to make ecology less White. (September 17, 2020)

Canadian Parks Collective for Innovation and Leadership (CPCIL). (August 6, 2020). A Canadian conversation on Black experiences in parks.

Toronto Public Library. (June 19, 2020). Black Outdoors: The connections between race and outdoor space

Toronto Ornithological Club (2018). Birding While Black: Race in the Canadian Outdoors.

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Black Canadian Studies Association (2018). Skiing While Black: Race, Landscape and Canadian Identity.

Ontario Parks (2018). Colour Outdoors: Race in the Canadian Wilderness.

North American Congress for Conservation Biology (2018). The Construction of the Wilderness in the Black Imagination.