Jumping for joy and clicking their heels, a goups of friends celebrate exploring the outdoors.
A goofy photo collage of friends river rafting through the sky against flowers, land, earth and the sea.
Four profile shots superimposed against the night sky, planets, sandunes, and for some reason, a monstera house plant.

Fresh Tracks at the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions

Fresh Tracks is a cross-cultural youth-led revolution rooted in the healing power of culture and the outdoors. We seek to advance social and environmental justice, and address hate and racism, by providing diverse young Indigenous, rural and urban leaders with cross-cultural leadership development and civic action training in the outdoors, followed by ongoing financial support and technical assistance to support their community actions.

Across the country, youth in communities of color are severely and disproportionately impacted by systems like foster care and the justice system. They face serious disparities in school discipline, the impacts of climate change, and suffer from extreme rates of violent victimization. These systems are some of the biggest drivers of the persistent inequities experienced by youth of color, drastically increasing their barriers to opportunity. They are also root causes that reduce community cohesion.

Our goal is to improve these systems and build community cohesion with young leaders who can reach across silos and draw on the strength of their diversity while using the power of the outdoors as a healing space. We believe that this intentional cross-cultural approach is more likely to increase community cohesion.

Participant involvement in the Fresh Tracks initiative includes connection to a network of over 500 young leaders from diverse communities and backgrounds across the country, inclusion in a structure of peer-to-peer mentorship, opportunities to experience facilitated outdoor experiences, and mentored development of community action agendas and plans.

Our program aims to create a national network of youth movement leaders, highlight the power of the outdoors, and build comprehensive, collaborative programs that will help effect positive, systemic change in communities throughout the country. By putting youth first, and by reaching across communities, we hope to reframe the conversation around equity, and underscore the systemic, rather than individual, nature of the challenges youth face.

To learn more, visit https://www.aspencommunitysolutions.org/fresh-tracks