Ronald Griswell

Ronald Griswell

Founder & CEO

HBCUs Outside

Elizabeth City, NC USA

Service to others is the main tenet to being a changemaker.


By Roadtrip Nation

Ronald Griswell


My road in life has been direct.
I was born and raised in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, where I spent a lot of time outdoors.
In high school, others said my identity as a Black man clashed with being an outdoorsman—I felt it was more important to hold onto my Black identity and pushed my passion for the outdoors aside.
During my junior year of college, I did a service-learning trip in Belize and was inspired by how connected the community was with nature.
When I got back to my campus, I was shocked to find that the school didn’t offer any outdoor programs—I started spending all of my time researching how I could get outdoors.
I left college and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to work for Wilderness Inquiry as an outdoor educator.
From there, I continued to travel and help others experience the outdoors.
There weren’t many people like me fostering these experiences for people, which inspired me to move back home, re-enroll in college, and help the university start their first outdoor program.
I scaled my idea of bringing more people like me into the outdoors and created HBCUs Outside, an organization that bridges the gap between historically Black colleges and the outdoor industry.
Keep following my journey


Founder & CEO

I help HBCU students and alumni enjoy the outdoors.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Environment & Nature
Working with Others


The Noise I Shed

From Peers:

"You're not really Black if you like the outdoors."

Interviewed By



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