30 Under 35 | Next question: Chelsea Murphy
Chelsea Murphy, 31
Founder of the growing community around @she_colorsnature on Instagram and community activist
Leavenworth resident Chelsea Murphy graduated in 2007 from Tacoma’s Franklin Pierce High School and earned her associate degree from Pierce College Fort Steilacoom. She went on to manage Aldo shoe stores around Washington and Colorado, before getting married and starting a family.
“I am now a stay-at-home mom running my own business,” she said. From freelance speaking, writing, consulting and marketing on and off for social media, she creates awareness around diversity in the outdoors. She is sponsored by brands like L.L. Bean, Salomon and REI — working to create a more inclusive outdoors for all.
Her efforts have focused on caring for nature, raising awareness and educating her community on Black, Indigenous and People of Color’s relationships to the natural world.
Her projects ranged from organizing a fundraiser last winter for the Colville Confederated Tribes Children & Family Services to speaking at Chelan-Douglas Land Trust’s Wild Ideas events. She also is a member of the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust.
“I have been a part of protests in Tacoma, Wenatchee and Leavenworth for the unjust crime committed against George Floyd and the many that came before him that were subject to police brutality because of the color of their skin,” she said. “I refuse to stand quiet during this time when my community and my country need me to continue advocating for them.”
She and filmmaker Erin Joy Nash are now working on a local short-film documentary about 12 BIWOC (Black, Indigenous, Women of Color) “to highlight all the ways we show up outdoors,” she said. “We are currently raising money for the production phase and hoping to be able to reach our goal by the beginning of April.”
A link to the site is available at wwrld.us/30CoaX1. The hope is to have it funded and edited by summer 2021.
Q: What accomplishments are you most proud of?
A: Some of my greatest accomplishments have come in the past few years, as I am becoming more involved in my community and finding my voice in Leavenworth as an activist for social and environmental issues.
I have become known as the mama who organizes trash clean ups that are kid friendly for various locations around the rivers and trails. I am an avid hiker and love to get my kids outdoors and support the movement behind diversity and inclusion in the outdoors.
In January 2020 I put on a fundraiser supporting the Wenatchi tribe. Moms and kids came to do organized yoga for an evening and local shop owners graciously donated goodies for the prizes. Most recently I am proud of speaking at the Chelan Land Trusts event called Wild Ideas, sharing my interests in getting outdoors with my kids and the importance of diversity. This led to me coordinating with others, and speaking at the June 2020 March for Solidarity in Leavenworth where more than 1,300 people showed up to support me and the other BIPOC in the area.
Today I am most proud of the community I have built with help from some other rad women in Washington to get this film project up and off the ground! Lots of community building opportunities will come from this and I can’t wait to see where it leads!
Q: Who or what inspires you to be successful?
A: There are two little girls who inspire me to be better and push for success every day — my little girls. I want to be a representation in the outdoors and on trails for them so they can have a role model who allows them to believe that they can do anything. I want them to know the outdoors is a space for them even when society and the outdoor industry doesn’t do a great job showing up for them.
Everything that I have done to create spaces for moms in my community has been for my kids and has promoted growth within me that I couldn’t be more grateful for.
My kids are the reason I can be vulnerable and show up to see the change in this world that I wish I had growing up. I believe that my success, as of late, is inspired by my need to see this community and valley be more inclusive and accepting of all people of color. Black, Indigenous and the Latinx community need voices who will show up for them on a daily basis, I am here for all of it.
— Nevonne McDaniels,