Meet Your Guide : Raei bridges
Age :24 Pronouns: he/They
Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles left me with limited access to large green spaces. I spent my time playing in the backyard, or skateboarding around town, but I never realized that there was an entire natural world beyond my safe suburban lifestyle ready to teach me more than I ever knew about myself. In the city I had many distractions to keep my focus.
As as I began navigating spaces of nature connection and outdoor leadership it became evident to me the lack of diversity present in the outdoor field as I often found myself to be the only person of color or LGBTQ+ individual, and was often treated as less than. As a person of mixed race it is hard for me to navigate these spaces.
I am a certified Mindful Outdoor Guide and certified Wilderness First Responder. My intention is to provide spaces for folks to connect with nature in the form of minimally guided self-generated ceremony and practice. I intend to provide space to rebuild a relationship to land that has been taken from us ancestrally and manipulated for extractive purposes.
As people of color and LGBTQ+ communities begin to move away from urban and industrialized spaces and into communal natural spaces, the system that so heavily depends on our dependence yet fails to truly meet our needs will then fail. To experience the spaces of healing, growth, and knowledge that come from relating to the land in this way, and empowering yourself to meet your own needs is a priceless experience. These experiences are so crucial for our species in this time.
We must shed the impositions of who and how to be, and come together as community. To feel able to return to the land and dismantle the lingering ties of racism, trans phobia and oppression associated with nature in solidarity with one another. I hope to make an impact on the back-to-land movement for these communities and remind them that we are the caretakers of the land, and we were created with purpose.
The Rusty Anvil is an educational organization reconnecting people of color and LGBTQ+ communities to the medicine of nature and their place within themselves and the natural world through mindful wilderness trips and place-based skills workshops. This organizatoin represents a platform for cultural transformation as we bring our relationship with the land and our view of industrial growth to table for reevaluation and transformation.
Founder and Lead Guide