Be The Change

Kai Lightner’s Climbing For Change Announces New Grant Program

Kai Lightner, professional rock climber and founder of Climbing for Change (C4C), is promoting a new program he hopes will establish more equality within the outdoor industry, connecting brands with historically underrepresented professionals in a new way.

“We have been working hard to continuously evaluate the current state of diversity initiatives across the industry and create new programs to address current gaps,” says Lightner. “Our PBO (Project-Based Opportunity) grants will hopefully continue to move the needle forward and help inspire inclusivity in these spaces we enjoy.”

C4C’s goal is to continue to revolutionize climbing by bringing more diversity into the sport and increase minority participation by removing barriers to entry. The C4C grant takes Lighter’s vision a step further and directly addresses the shortcomings of the broader outdoor adventure industry, connecting brands with talented professionals for paid, project-based work.

Current projects are centered around graphic design, market research, and app development; but going forward C4C hopes to encompass all facets of business including sales, marketing, finance, product development, HR, project management, and more.

“The diversity gap in the outdoor sector is well known,” Lightner continues, “Company executives have expressed a desire to hire diverse talent but cite difficulty in identifying qualified applicants. I have worked with incredibly talented BIPOC individuals that are creators, engineers, programmers … we have skilled professionals in all fields.”

Cover Photo: Kai Lightner (left) aims to bring real inclusivity to the climbing community.

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