A Radically Inclusive City and Culture

“I needed Burning Man, needed those encounters and those warm hugs on the playa to feel whole again. And by doing that, then I can show up in the default world with a lot more courage and a lot more clarity and a lot more commitment to realize a world of potential.”

~ Dr. Victor Santiago Pineda, disability justice leader, “Inclusion, Freedom, and Discovery…”Burning Man Journal (Burning since 2015)

In August 2021 our Radical Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Anti-Racism Pledge asked: What would it look like for Black Rock City and all of our global communities to be more radically inclusive and diverse?

During the 12 months between the pledge and Burners’ arrival in the Black Rock Desert, we built new pathways to expand participation of BIPOC communities:

  • Awarded more than $500,000 in Honoraria Art Grants to BIPOC lead artists 
  • Made tickets available to individuals, camps and crews that advanced R.I.D.E. goals
  • Engaged BIPOC artists through outreach, funding and selection process changes

While many of the outcomes were experiential, others could be documented, including:

During the 12 months between the pledge and Burners’ arrival in the Black Rock Desert, we built new pathways to expand participation of BIPOC communities:

  • 13.5% of participants self-identified as BIPOC / non-Caucasian (BRC 2022 Census)
  • Multicultural People of Color Neighborhood with a dozen theme camps and villages
  • More lead artists of color as 2022 Honoraria art recipients than any previous year
  • A new R.I.D.E. section in the 2022 WhatWhereWhen guide with 52 events

Ensuring Radical Accessibility

  • Elegant ramps helped participants with reduced mobility more easily access the Man Pavilion
  • National Geographic featured Mobility Camp and other playa projects that make Black Rock City accessible to participants with disabilities
  • The ARTery and Mobility Camp offered mutant vehicle mobility tours for anyone who needed support
  • American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters helped Deaf and Hard of Hearing Burners on playa; we offered the first Art Discovery tour with ASL interpreters.


Freedom is not a state; it is an act.


A Playa Filled with Diverse Voices and Perspectives

BIPOC-led teams created artwork and organized accompanying gatherings that palpably changed the landscape, bringing about cultural shifts and evoking new perspectives.

Honoraria recipient Erin Douglas brought “Black! Asé” to the playa, which elevated her Black Burner Project photographs to climbable 30-foot beacons. As she does every year, Erin gathered Black Burners for a group photo — this time in front of her piece.

“I have invested much of my time and energy into the Burner culture because I can share my values and experiences as an African-American and have the freedom to present a type of art and architecture that I think will have an impact and be a catalyst for social change.”

~ Antwane Lee, Lead artist “The Solar Shrine,” “An Interview with Honoraria Recipient Antwane Lee,” Burning Man Journal (Burning since 2022)

South African Honoraria artist Usha Seejarim collaborated with Project Aikido to build “The Resurrection of the Clothes Peg,” an ode to resurgence of the female voice.

Throughout the city, camps offered diversity events and workshops, including: “BIPOC on Playa — A Sharing of our Journeys” at Yummy RUMInations, “Spirituality & Queerness: A Lifetime Journey” at ​​No Drama Camp, and “Sign Language Services” at Access Signers Service Hub.

“Burning Man feels like home. The Multicultural Neighborhood we were in felt even more like home.”

~ Robert Tweedy, Founder, Indigenous People of the World camp (Burning since 1995)