Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I have to register?
This resource is dedicated to cultivating outdoor spaces where Black people feel safe and affirmed. While venturing across the U.S., we often encounter signs, symbols, and behaviors of people that make us feel like we don’t belong. One basic way to protect our landowners and community members from people who act on their hate or who come with bad intentions is to make sure there is a first step to filter them out. ⇧
We've all learned some hard lessons about entering into relationships in good faith only to find that there is no reciprocity. This is why show and prove is one of the core values of the Aboveground Railroad. A real community is built on shared values, love, resources, and hard work. Every single person who joins this community earns their entry by contributing their time, unique skills, and/or resources.
When you join this community, you are not a customer, you are a member. And once you're a member, you know that every other member who walks into this community is also committing to making tangible contributions. This action affirms that we are all genuinely in this together and sets the tone for a community rooted in deeds, not dogma.
We are stepping away from transactional interactions because they are limiting to our nature and we are so much more. We welcome you to take this opportunity to shine your unique light on your community. If you opt to make a monetary donation, that's greatly appreciated too. Some of us have more money to spare, some of us have more time. A lucky few have both! Your monetary contribution is not a payment for a product or service. Your donation goes towards supporting land stewards, providing resources for collaborative actions and community events, and developing new organizing projects. Read our Community Values ⇧
We're committed to building a real community that centers Black people, our experience, and our right to belong. While all locations are committed to offering safe and affirming spaces for Black people, that doesn't mean they are exclusively reserved for Black people. "Black-centered" isn't exclusive. Our continual struggle for "Black freedom" has never been limited to uplifting only Black people. Anyone - including our BIPOC family and allies - can join this community and engage in cooperative action. Some land stewards have decided to function as Black-Centered Lands (BCLs), which are private, Black outdoor spaces. Read our Community Values ⇧
What's happening with the Aboveground Railroad?
When we launched WayOut, we decided to focus on developing a network of safe and affirming camping destinations. Our strategy was to get people to venture out and connect with the land and to develop a real sense of community. Building real community is still our primary goal! However, through our travels, we have realized the importance of centering collective work in our organizing efforts. Much like the Underground Railroad, our vision for The Aboveground Railroad is an informal, decentralized network of people working together to create practical pathways to collective autonomy in this society. Our renewed vision will more directly focus on supporting the physical building of communal spaces and connecting the work we do to direct action organizations and social justice campaigns that are committed to our community's collective struggle for self-determination.
Because we are intentionally building a community of safe and affirming spaces, we still personally travel to meet every land steward host in person. We tour the land, share our respective visions, and get to know each other so that all parties involved can make an informed decision about whether we are aligned. ⇧
How can I connect my land as a communal space?
Join the Love on the Land Cooperative! Once you register, we'll set up a time to chat and explore the possibilities. Click here to find out more about the co-op or you can
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