Changing the Face of the Outdoors: First all-African American Ascent of Denali

In 2013, the first all-African American team of climbers tackled Denali, or Mt. McKinley, in Alaska, North America’s highest peak. The expedition was sponsored by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). The goal of the expedition was to inspire minority communities to look outdoors for enriching experiences and to encourage environmental stewardship. James Edward Mills, who was part of the expedition, is the author of The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors, which explores how minority populations view their place in wild environments. Mills is a journalist and media producer and maintains the blog and podcast The Joy Trip Project ( He has worked in the outdoor industry since 1989 as a guide, outfitter, independent sales representative, and writer. Mills is also co-producer of a film about the climb, An American Ascent. (October 11, 2017 broadcast)

James Edward Mills, author, The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors