Rahawa Haile: The Trailblazing Boss
Do you know the story of Rahawa Haile aka the Appalachian Trailblazer?⛰️ ⛰️
Rahawa Haile grew up in Miami and often spent time walking in the city with her grandmother. Together, they found magic in the simple feeling of fresh air on their faces. This is a feeling that Rahawa would continue to chase into her adulthood, leading her to complete a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail!
As Rahawa continued to live a life in open spaces with wind on faces, she found herself an enthusiast of an activity that was severely underrepresented by people of color. In fact when Rahawa completed her thru-hike of the Appalachian trail, she only encountered one person of color throughout her entire hike.
We're talking a 2,190 mile route that passes through 14 states and takes an average of 6 months to complete… and seeing only 1 other person of color along the way! And this was in 2016!
Like a Boss though, Rahawa already knew she had work to do and took it upon herself to chronicle her entire journey on social media. One of the reasons she documented her hike was because she recognized there were so few resources for black hikers. At the time if you searched “black hiker” on Google, the first result was for a pair of Timberland boots.
Rahawa Haile set off on her Appalachian journey in March of 2016 in north Georgia. She completed it seven months later in October and stood proudly atop Mt. Katahdin in Maine.
Standing atop that mountain signaled more than the completion of her journey. It served as a signal for young girls and boys of ALL COLORS to dare to dream, defy the status quo, and embrace the Adventure!