Chad Brown: Photographic Inspiration in the Arctic Refuge

The League’s Geography of Hope series continues with a trip through the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with veteran Chad Brown!

The League recently traveled (virtually) with Navy veteran and professional photographer (and League board member) Chad Brown through the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and learned about his visits with local Indigenous communities, the humbling impact of moving silently through a vast open space, and how immersing himself in wilderness has helped him to treat his post-traumatic stress disorder related to military tours in Iraq and Somalia.

Chad is also an accomplished portrait and adventure photographer, creative director and conservationist. He resides in Portland, Oregon, where he runs Soul River Inc., the nonprofit organization he founded that brings together at-risk youth with military veterans as mentors and takes them into threatened wild spaces, providing mission-driven experiences where advocacy and outdoor education meet. He later founded Love is King, a nonprofit that focuses on welcome access, safety and healing in the outdoors for BIPOC communities and all underserved voices. His work has brought him to Capitol Hill to advocate for public lands preservation, bringing youth leaders of tomorrow and giving them an opportunity to interface with congressional members.

Chad has been featured on BBC, CBS, as well as in national publications including Outside Magazine and The Drake, and in various Pacific Northwest publications. Brown was the first recipient of the Breaking Barriers Award presented by Orvis, as well as the Bending Toward Justice Award from Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley.

You can visit our Geography of Hope page to watch past recordings and sign up for future events. And for more information on Chad’s work, visit:

Watch the full episode: