Danielle Williams is the founder of the social media platform Melanin Base Camp, and a co-founder of Team Blackstar Skydivers. Both organizations promote diversity in outdoor adventure sports and highlight talented adventure athletes of color. She's also a former trail runner and a disabled skydiver with over 600 jumps.
Danielle graduated from Harvard in 2008 and has spent the last nine years in the U.S. Army with combat deployments in Iraq and the Philippines. The Army threw her out of her first airplane in 2006 and she's been in love with adventure sports ever since.
Her skydiving team, Team Blackstar, was founded in 2014 and has since grown from six African American parachutists to a diverse group of 240 skydivers in six countries.
Most recently, Danielle partnered with Brown Girls Climb on Project Diversify: the first ever video collaboration showcasing Women of Color in adventure sports.
In this episode, Danielle tells the story of why she joined the military and what it's been like being a woman in a male-dominated space. We talk about her first time skydiving and why she loves the sport so much even though she's scared of heights and isn't at all an adventure junkie, and she shares her thoughts on managing fear and on mental toughness.
Danielle also shares the origin story of Melanin Base Camp - why she started out, what the mission is, and why it's so crucial that everyone play a role in diversifying the outdoors.
I've personally learned so much from Danielle since I first started following her on Instagram, and it was such a delightful honor to have this conversation. I hope you enjoy it too!
Listen to this Episode
Connect with Danielle
Selected Links From This Episode
Books, Resources & People Mentioned
- iFLY wind tunnel
- Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats
- Nadia Mercado
- Jenny Bruso (past guest)
- Unlikely Hikers
- Native Women's Wilderness
- Life at These Speeds, by Jeremy Jackson
- Rapture of Canaan, by Sheri Reynolds
Support the podcast (+ get exclusive bonus content!)
Join the Real Talk Radio support squad over on Patreon (just $8+ per 8-episode season!) and get immediate access to over 40 hours of bonus content and other fun things.
- Bonus episodes with former guests
- The chance to be featured in an upcoming outro
- Our fun, casual monthly book club
- Frequent opportunities to help shape the future of the show
- Exclusive access to my popular weekly email series, Notes of Grit & Grace
- 24/7 access to the community feed for conversation with me and everyone else …. and more!
So for all of that and more, simply head over to patreon.com/nicoleantoinette to make your pledge.
Thank you so much for your support!!