Footprints for Change is a movement created by Only Footprints Founder, Crystal Gail Welcome. She aims to change the narrative of what it means to connect and engage with Nature.
History has shown that intersecting, and underrepresented identities must be tenaciously visible and relentlessly audacious to equally and equitably belong in every space — especially in the outdoors.
As a differently-abled Black lesbian, Crystal knows that representation and visibility matter.
Crystal is hiking the Great Western Loop (GWL) to create space for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), especially BIPOC youth, LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, and asexual) folks, and Differently-abled folks.
Crystal hopes others will foster a positive relationship with the natural world — peacefully and free from barriers. In doing so, we can all develop a desire to respect one another and the Planet.
To date, The GWL has been completed by two cisgender, able-boded white males – this sends the messages that those spaces are reserved for those that fit that profile.
The three-part solo trek began in 2021 in the High Sierras on the Pacific Crest Trail. Crystal will continue her journey throughout 2022 and end at the southern border of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDCT) in 2023.