Our alum Demond (Dom) Mullins has organized a group of Black mountaineers who intend to make an expedition to climb Mount Everest. PBS NewsHour recently covered his story and his ambition.
Called Full Circle Everest, the team of 10 experienced mountaineers and climbers from the United States and Kenya would become the first all-Black team to scale the world’s tallest mountain.
“The only Black climbers that have ever been within the mountains are all on the Full Circle Everest mountaineering team,” Mullins told NewsHour. “Lots of people would remark when they would see me in the mountains, like, wow, I have never seen a Black person climbing before. I have never seen a Black person in the mountains.”
A veteran of the Iraq War, Mullins started climbing through his work with veterans organizations. According to NewsHour, the activity filled a void.
“It was a part of my identity,” Mullins said. “To be able to meet an obstacle, to be able to discipline myself enough to overcome it, and then achieve that thing gave me pride in myself.”
NewsHour reported that Mullins hopes to inspire people to connect with the outdoors and highlight the barriers that members of Black communities frequently face.
“There was absolutely no one that I knew in my community that even hiked or camped outside,” Mullins said. “If you don’t have people who are — who live within proximity to you that you can learn certain things from, then you don’t learn those things.”