WMCC JDEI Committee Winter Speaker Series: Climb United initiative of the American Alpine Club

Two hands clasped; one with a crack climbing glove made of tape. "Climb United" below the image.

WMCC JDEI Committee Winter Speaker Series with Cody Kaemmerlen and Shara Zaia from the Climb United Initiative of the American Alpine Club. 

Join us for a conversation with Cody and Shara about how Climb United is increasing access to the outdoors and how oppressive or discriminatory route names can get in the way of this. Let’s learn together how their body of work is impacting the national discussion and how it can inform our own processes towards route naming locally at Hanging Mountain and beyond.

Zoom link:


Speaker bios:

Cody Kaemmerlen

Cody lives in Salt Lake City where he serves on the Board of Directors for the Salt Lake climbers alliance and sits on the Jedi and communications committees. He is the director of Climb United Initiative and the host of the Wilder Mind podcast.

Shara Zaia

Shara is an Assyrian-American climber, educator, and community organizer based in Denver, CO. She is the founder of Cruxing In Color: a meetup platform aiming to connect, inspire, and educate self-identified POC within the context of climbing by offering free mentorship and access to gear.

Community Conversations

Formerly known as Listening Sessions, the WMCC Justice Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee is hosting the next Community Conversation on March 9th at 7:00PM. The goal of the Community Conversation is to provide a safe place for marginalized members of the climbing community to share their stories. This conversation will be facilitated by committee member, Amelia Tarren.

All attendees must complete this google form and register in advance for the session. A zoom link will be sent to you after registering. Thanks to everyone who has been showing up to these conversations and sharing their stories. If you haven’t attended one of these events yet, consider joining this one!

Email the JDEI committee at if you have any questions.

DEI Information Session – Dec. 1st, 2020

Tues. Dec. 1st, 7:00pm-8:30pm

Curious about what Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion looks like in the outdoors world? Wondering how you can be apart of this work? WMCC and Briana Blanchard of the Red River George Climbers Coalition are hosting an info session to explore these topics! Join us for a discussion on the framework for Justice, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in the climbing world, ways this work fits into the Western MA climbing community and an open space for questions and conversation.

Briana lives in Cincinnati and has been climbing in the Red since 2014. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Miami University and has been working in non-profit for five years.  Briana enjoys sport, bouldering, and traditional climbing, and when she isn’t outside she can be found on her basement training wall or in the local gym, accompanied by her husband and their son, Atticus. Look her up on Instagram @Dirtbagmomma.

Click here to register in advance for the DEI Information Session.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

WMCC Listening Session: Thurs. Oct. 15th, 7:00-8:30pm

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee invites you to a 90 minute listening session on Zoom, on Oct. 15th, moderated by Sarah Rasmussen. This is a space for climbers from marginalized communities to share their experiences, stories, suggestions, and ideas for how to create more welcome and inclusive outdoor spaces. Members of the DEI Committee hope to partner and collaborate with the individuals who offer their narratives to create a focused task list for addressing the many ISMs in our outdoor spaces.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 899 0293 4999
Passcode: 395525

Female sport climber climbing at Mormon Hollow. Information for Listening Session: Thurs. Oct. 15th

Photo by Michelle Bourget

-Published Sept. 30th, 2020-


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