THE FISHING INDUSTRY NEEDS AFRICAN AMERICANS AND HISPANICS

Minorities Missing From The Outdoors

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THE FISHING INDUSTRY NEEDS AFRICAN AMERICANS AND HISPANICS PARTICIPATION IN THE SPORT!

 

By Bob Frye, TRIBUNE-REVIEW

Sunday, May 16, 2010

 

Minorities cite a lack of cultural background in the outdoors as another issue. Mark Damian Duda, owner of Responsive Management, a research firm dealing with natural resource issues, said that became apparent to him when he was asked to poll minorities on their outdoor involvement in Virginia several years ago.

"I had an African American woman tell me that 'you buy things that look like you.' Essentially what she was talking about is that there are no role models for minorities in the outdoors," Duda said.

Baseball, football, basketball, even golf with the recently embattled Tiger Woods, have had minorities in positions of prominence, he noted.

"But the outdoors hasn't had that face," Duda said. "That's an issue."


Why it matters


Two decades ago, the lack of minority sportsmen was not a huge concern. Now - with Census Bureau projections saying minorities will represent a majority of the nation's population by 2042 - that's changed.

A study done by the American Sportfishing Association determined that if fishing nationally were a corporation, it would rank 47th on the Fortune 500 list of America's biggest companies.

To stay that strong in the future, it's increasingly going to need people of color to become customers, said Heather Seiber, communications director for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

The companies quickest to reach out to those people will have a huge advantage, added Donny Adair, who does diversity training for the city of Portland, Ore., and founder of the African American Hunting Association.

"This is a real opportunity," he said. "The first companies that go out there and reach out to African Americans and people of color are going to have real product loyalty."

Read more: Minorities missing from the outdoors - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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