Lee Vue is a creative professional with deep knowledge in communications and digital strategy committed to social impact. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a degree in political science. Her professional career spans across multiple industries that include startups, academia, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.
As a current board member of Camp Menogyn, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness and Building More Philanthropy with Purpose (BMPP) Giving Circle, she’s passionate about bringing the voices of underserved communities and communities of color to the climate, philanthropy and social justice movements.
When she’s not immersed in creative work and creating content, she’s exploring wild places.
Through YMCA Camp Mengoyn (2007), she spent 50 days paddling the Kazan River and Kunwak River in the arctic tundra of Canada.
In 2013, she paddled the entire Mississippi River (2,300+ miles) and then the following year, she paddled the Illinois River (200+ miles).
In 2016, her team won first place in the Women’s Voyageur Division in the Yukon River Quest, paddling 444 miles in 53 hours.
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Her cultural background
Being a Hmong American
Working as a creative in the communication space
A personal family history
Not growing up with the outdoors
Going at a summer camp at 13 years old
Starting to love the outdoors
Sharmanism and how being in the woods can make you vulnerable to evil spirits
Managing suspicions while in the woods
Having 8 sisters and 4 brothers
Studying political science in college and going to explore South East Asia
Balancing the two cultures
Wanting to move the needle with regards to climate action
How the outdoors is dominated by white people
Being the only person of colour at summer camp
The flow to nature and how it does not discriminate
Paddling the Kazan River and Kunwak River in the arctic tundra of Canada.
Being dropped of in the middle of nowhere to start the adventure!
The magical moment on the river
Going on a once in a lifetime experience
Being young and reckless and feeling invincible
The possibility of youth
Taking on the Mississippi River in 2013
The North South divide in America
Feeling unsafe as a person of colour paddling on the river
The disconnect in environmental education
Spending 70 days on the water
Feeling unsafe and vulnerable
The team dynamics and only meeting people on the start day
Being the peace maker and being good in large groups
Handling stressful situations
Finding the positive twist on challenging situations
Getting into photography
The power of capturing imagery
Being fascinated with change and transformation
The Yukon River Quest, paddling 444 miles in 53 hours
To poop in the canoe or not?
Feeling angry and miserable during the Yukon River Quest
Reaching a low point on the trip
Ending up in hospital, not being able to breath
Paddling through the night and dealing with sleep hallucinations
Eating a lot of boiled eggs…
What adventure means to Lee
Words of advice to motivate and inspire women of colour to get outdoors
Privilege and sacrifice
Why you should create your own opportunities
Feeling inspired week after week?
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