genuine people gathering

Photo: Terria Clay Photography

asilia’s mission is to foster an environment aiming to create genuine connections through fellowship and adventure

about asilia

The collective’s name was conceived while traveling around Tanzania, Africa in the summer of 2018. In Swahili, the word asilia (a-si-li-a) has several meanings- ‘authentic’ ‘genuine’ – collective means, done by people acting as a group. This collective is made up of people seeking true connection in an environment that pushes you to explore your true self. Over the past couple years, we have gathered and formed lasting bonds while exploring the outdoors through hiking, running the streets of NYC or fellowship over a meal. This collective is an inclusive space that promotes diversity in the outdoors.

“If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.”
— Lemony Snicket

journey to the outdoors

The journey to the outdoors started with a day trip with a black female group looking to diversify the outdoors in 2015. Just a couple hours north of New York City, there’s access to the stillness of nature. Along the Hudson River, miles of trails are easily accessible to city slickers looking to break away from the noise. After posting pictures on social media, friends inquired about joining the experience. From there, the “Non-Hiking, Hiking Group” was formed. Since 2016, we have visited most of the local New York State trails. Growing, exploring, and connecting each time we went out.

ready to explore with Asilia?

“i stand
on the sacrifices
of a million women before me
what can I do
to make this mountain taller
so the women after me
can see farther”

- legacy, rupi kaur

meet portia

This once Sunshine State girl hailing from Miami moved to New York City and found her niche in outdoor adventure. In 2015, Portia started to explore the great outdoors with a meet-up group that connected black women to different types of fitness activities. A sprinter turned road racer, she completed the NYC marathon. Portia runs as often as she can, and she mixes it up with cycling around the city. She believes in cultivating community, igniting adventure in others and creating memorable memories through outdoor exploration. In 2019, Portia made it official by becoming a licensed hiking guide for New York State (find her here) and facilities day hikes through an outdoor adventure company, Discover Outdoors, in NYC.

interested in connecting with Portia?