Nature is a powerful source of creativity, inspiration and healing; however, it has not always felt like a safe space for people of colour. Flock Together is here to change that, by inspiring everyone, regardless of race, religion or economic status, to build their relationship with the outdoors and embrace all that nature has to offer.
Founded by Ollie Olanipekun and Nadeem Perera in summer 2020, Flock Together is the UK's first birdwatching collective for people of colour. Ollie and Nadeem share a mutual love of nature – it is their outlet when faced with neglect and prejudice, it is a place for deep thought and discovery, and it is the foundation on which their friendship and community is built.
Part memoir, part manifesto, Outsiders is Flock Together's call-to-action. Divided into six parts, each chapter focuses on a key pillar in the Flock's mission:
1. Make Nature a Must: explores the contrast between urban and rural lifestyles. How does the urban environment disconnect the individual from nature? How is nature beneficial to us all?
2. Challenging Preconceptions: shows the complexities people of colour face when they are stereotyped. How can we change these preconceptions?
3. Nature as My Healer: assesses the systemic issues impacting the mental health of people of colour. How can nature help mitigate this?
4. Building a Community: offers guidance to building your own community. How can a community bring systemic change?
5. Who Runs Nature? outlines what we can do to benefit nature. How do communities around the world cooperate with the ecosystem and how can this be introduced more to the western world?
6. Creative Mentorship: looks at the obstacles young people of colour face when shut out of particular spaces. How does mentorship help reclaim those spaces?
Nadeem Perera is a sports coach and activist. Also a self-taught birdwatcher of 13 years, he has acquired expert knowledge of birds, other wildlife and the great outdoors in rural England. He has found ways to connect this experience with communities of all ages through his work in youth football and other sports
Ollie Olanipekun is a Creative Director based in north-east London. He is the founder of the award-winning creative agency Superimpose / Futurimpose and has social responsibility at the core of his work. Empowering individuals and communities throughout his career, Ollie is committed to supporting this audience as well as building smoother pathways into the creative industries for the next generation of 'non-traditional' creatives.
"A powerful meditation on the relationship between race and the natural world in modern Britain"
"[Outsiders] is a bold step in confronting the under-representation of people of colour in the natural world, and helping those marginalised communities to step forward to enjoy and protect it."
– BBC Wildlife