Danielle Williams is the Senior Editor of blogging platform Melanin Base Camp and the Founder of DiversifyOutdoors.com. She is also a co-founder of Team Blackstar Skydivers. She's been a strong advocate for diversity in outdoor adventure sports since 2014; working across multiple platforms to build a network of diversity and inclusion organizations and highlight opportunities for adventure athletes of color. Danielle is a 3rd generation military Army veteran and a disabled skydiver with over 600 jumps. She graduated from Harvard in 2008 and spent 10 1/2 years in the U.S. Army with combat deployments in Iraq and the Philippines. The Army threw her out of her first plane in 2006 and she's been in love with adventure sports ever since. Since its founding in 2014 Team Blackstar has grown from six African American parachutists to a diverse group of 270 skydivers in six countries. On the weekends you can find her indulging her favorite outdoor therapy: barefoot skydiving or pushing her walker around the bonfire with a little help from her friends. Blue skies!
Nicholas Walker is a competitive skydiver & a 3rd generation Army veteran. He joined the Army in 2002 and served for six years as a “computer guy” assigned to 7th Special Forces Group and JSOC. During that time he completed 40 static line jumps out of various aircraft. After transitioning to civilian life, Nick started skydiving at Skydive The Farm (STF) in Georgia. He started competing in 2009 with his first four way relative work formation skydiving team, STF Velox. It’s a five man team: four flyers and a camera person. They exit linked and are judged on how many formations they can successfully build in 35 seconds. They do ten jumps and the team with the highest number of completed formations at the end of ten rounds wins. He currently competes on Vega XP which trains in Atlanta and at Paraclete XP in Raeford, NC. He has also competed in eight way and 16-way in the past. The biggest skydive he has participated in was a 66-way jump during a Georgia state record attempt. Nick has over 1,050 skydives and he jumps a Valkyrie 84 main and an Optimum 113. He loves skydiving because it focuses him in the present while allowing exterior stressors to fade away. He’s tried a lot of different hobbies and nothing does that quite like skydiving.
Nate has been skydiving for 13 years with over 450 jumps. He’s a U.S. Army Veteran who started jumping because he loved adrenaline. He thought skydiving would be the ultimate rollercoaster ride. Of course his first skydive was just the opposite! Peaceful and not like a rollercoaster at all. In his own words: “What I found was a sport that requires discipline and practice to master. I quickly became consumed by the idea of being the best that i could be and to be able to show up at any dropzone and hold my own. I did that in many respects; I then wanted to teach and instruct so I went after it and became a coach. Of course, time and life gradually over took skydiving and now I have less time to jump. I am proud of my accomplishments in the sport and my failures, because I didn't let them ground me and because success is a lousy teacher. I am most of all proud to be a part of Team Black Star.” Nate came up with the name Team Blackstar and the iconic Team Blackstar patch! His home dropzone is Skydive Orange and, while he doesn’t jump often, you may catch him officiating a skydiving wedding or two!
Sean is a professional engineer and an adjunct engineering professor from Pensacola, Florida. He’s also an U.S. Air Force veteran. Sean started skydiving in May 2012 at Emerald Coast Skydiving Center. He’s been skydiving for 6.5 years and instructing Accelerated Free Fall students for two years. He has a D license and over 1,100 jumps. Sean enjoys “seeing students who really have a passion for it and watching them progress; watching the ones that really have a heart for it and seeing how much effort and practice they put into it.” When he’s not instructing, he enjoys traveling to different drop-zones for relative work 4-way and 8-way camps. His favorite aspect of skydiving is “overcoming technical challenges in the sport. Refining. Becoming better. Improving skills and helping others improve.” He also appreciates the meaningful connections he’s made in the skydiving community and the recognition that our participation in the sport has increased significantly over the past decade. When he’s not traveling for work, you can find him instructing students at his home drop zone in Florida or skydiving together with his wife of 28 years.