The City of Chattanooga's Office of Multicultural Affairs and Outdoor Chattanooga are collaborating to host a free screening of "An American Ascent," a feature documentary about the first African-American expedition to tackle North America’s highest peak, Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley).
Terri Chapin with Chattanooga Outdoors said, "The City of Chattanooga's Office of Multicultural Affairs and Outdoor Chattanooga are working together to bring more diversity to outdoor recreation." In the fall of 2015, they recruited and trained 10 certified outdoor guides, who are tasked with connecting Outdoor Chattanooga to communities of color. The screening of "An American Ascent" is another event to promote diversity and generate interest in Chattanooga’s outdoor scene among people of color.
"This film brings forward the opportunity for our community to work together, regardless of our cultural variances or skin color, to ascend toward this goal. We want everyone in our community to have the tools to enjoy the great outdoors, to be included, and access the health and social benefits of recreation participation," said Chapin. "Chattanooga's Outdoor Ambassadors, a team of culturally and racially diverse outdoor trip leaders, will be introduced prior to the film. These ambassadors are passionate about encouraging new participants on their first or even 10,000th outdoor experience, to overcome adversity, by showing the way, using their own voice, and by taking lead."
"An American Ascent's" purpose is to bring awareness to the staggering number of people of color who do not consider the outdoors as a place for them. It features nine African-Americans who, in June of 2013, set out to build a legacy and become role models for inner city kids and people of color all over America by encouraging them to get outside. They did so by taking on the grueling 20,320-foot peak of the continent’s largest mountain.
"I hope this film inspires more community commitment to encouraging our neighbors regardless of ethnicity, belief or social status, to participate, enjoy and care for our natural world," said Chapin.
"An American Ascent" was nominated for Best Documentary at the American Black Film Festival and won Best Feature Film at the Mountain and Adventure Film Festival.
The screening of "An American Ascent" is free to the public and will be held February 11 at the Downtown Chattanooga Public Library's Fourth Floor from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Refreshments will be provided. For more info, visit the event's Facebook page.