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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Grace College student raises awareness for diversity in outdoor sports

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Eddie Gill IV began boating and fishing with his grandfather in Utah at 3 years old. From that moment, what started as a hobby became the passion that is now “Journey for a Cause.” 

“Journey for a Cause” is a 10-day trip starting June 1 to June 10 from the Ohio River in Evansville to the Gulf of Mexico in Navarre Beach, Florida, to promote the idea that the color of your skin should not keep you from doing what you love.

Gill began this journey when he saw there was a lack of diversity in an activity he loves so much. Growing up, he noticed a stigma surrounding African Americans who shared a passion for boating and fishing. He often heard statements such as “That’s not very Black of you” whenever he told others about his interest in outdoor activities.

A lack of exposure and accessibility is the main reason for the African American community’s overall disinterest with outdoor adventure activities, he said. Gill is using his awareness of outdoor activities to bridge the gap. 

As the Black Lives Matter protests heightened during the summer of 2020, Gill realized this initiative can add a layer of topics about diversity and inclusion that might not have been brought up before, as well as provide a space for those who do not realize the importance of getting outdoors. 

“This will be a great opportunity to explore an avenue outside of the norm,” Gill said. “With all the tension that is going on around the country, this is something that is outside the realm of many talking points.” 

Gill will use a Parker 2520 XLD Offshore Sport Cabin fishing boat. His school, Grace College, helped him secure the sponsorship from Parker Boats.

He will be joined by longtime friend Justin Shupe, who he has fished with since he was 10 years old, as well as seasoned boat captain John Easley. 

“It was hectic, chaotic, but an overall great experience,” Gill said a week before he embarks on his journey.

Support Eddie’s Journey

Instagram — @journey4acause

Twitter — @journey_4aCause

GoFundMe — Journey for a Cause

Contact staff writer Terrence Lambert at 317-924-5243. Follow him on Twitter @_TerrenceL_.

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