Whitney Sherrill

2019 Champions   |   Detroit

Whitney is a resident of Northeast Detroit, growing alongside both new and long-time residents. She’s passionate about outdoor recreation, environmental stewardship, community resilience, and intergenerational knowledge sharing. In addition, she’s interested in how the relationship between the black community and outdoor recreation spaces can be re-established, cultivated, and nourished. She’s an advocate for preserving and carving additional space in the urban fabric of Detroit for the black community and ensuring that spaces such as parks, gardens, and farms are intentionally designed within Detroit neighborhoods in ways that are culturally relevant, place-based, and supportive of the local economy.

Black to the Land

Black to the Land (BTTL) is a Detroit-based coalition of organizations facilitating events in the outdoors that promote healing, community, and skill sharing for black and brown Detroit residents. BTTL’s values include intergenerational thought leadership, empowerment through information and knowledge sharing, and community collaboration.

BTTL hosted a pilot camping program this past May following an annual bioblitz event at D-Town Farm in Detroit. The program included a nutritious, plant based community meal, intergenerational storytelling, a hands-on, guided collective camp-set-up, and open recreation time for exploration. Approximately twenty youth and their caregivers participated.

We would like to expand the program to include eighty youth and their caregivers in the future. We would also like to provide additional opportunities throughout the year to encourage continued skill sharing, engagement, and community building in outdoor spaces both within and outside of Detroit for black and brown Detroit residents.