What does USAU mean by “equity”, “diversity” and “inclusion”?
For USA Ultimate, equity means providing every ultimate participant what they need to engage in the sport and be successful. Neither race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender identity, sexual orientation nor religious belief should impact a person’s ability to participate in and enjoy ultimate.
We intentionally focus on equity rather than equality because we believe some athletes, coaches and other participants may need different resources and support to have an equal opportunity to participate in ultimate.
Diversity means bringing together people of different backgrounds, cultures, talents, skills and perspectives to create stronger teams and organizations. We are committed to building diversity across our staff, board, volunteers, partners and membership.
Inclusion means creating an environment in which everyone feels a sense of belonging. We are committed to building an inclusive culture in which people from different backgrounds and experiences are able to bring their full identity to their teams and organizations, speak and act authentically, make meaningful contributions and influence decisions.
Why is EDI a priority for USA Ultimate?
USA Ultimate strongly believes a diverse ultimate community will enrich the experience of all players, organizers, volunteers and spectators, and the sport will be enhanced by the active inclusion of underrepresented communities. We recognize we must devote significant time and energy to ensure our sport and community reflect the amazing diversity of our nation.
In 2014, we prioritized efforts to increase the number of girls, women and non-binary folks in ultimate and launched the Girls’ Ultimate Movement as a result. Starting in 2019, we expanded this work by prioritizing efforts to increase racial/ethnic and socio-economic diversity, and to address issues of inclusion and equity associated with these forms of diversity.
How is USAU working to enhance EDI throughout the organization and the sport of ultimate?
Through the following commitments, USA Ultimate is working to ensure EDI efforts become imbedded in the organization and the sport:
Increasing participation of underrepresented racial, ethnic and socioeconomic populations in the sport of ultimate.
Lowering financial barriers to participation in ultimate.
Increasing participation of women and LGBTQIA+ ultimate athletes.
Providing resources to help create inclusive team environments.
Decreasing avenues in which bias can affect Spirit of the Game.
For demographic information about USA Ultimate’s current membership, click here.
Where can I find more information about how to make EDI a fundamental aspect of my ultimate experience?
At the bottom of our EDI page are a list of featured EDI resources for learning about and engaging with this work in your local community. Below are links to additional EDI resources.
For more information on the EDI work USA Ultimate is doing, check out our latest EDI Update:
What financial assistance opportunities are available to help increase participation in ultimate?
Play It Forward
- The Play It Forward program provides membership and financial assistance for youth from underserved and underrepresented communities to give them the opportunity to experience ultimate.
- For more information about Play It Forward, including how to apply for financial assistance, visit usaultimate.org/playitforward/.
- If you would like to donate to Play It Forward, click here.
Delrico Johnson Fund
- Adult BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) facing financial hardship can elect a free adult affiliate membership thanks to generous contributions made to the Delrico Johnson Fund.
- If you would like to donate to the Delrico Johnson Fund, click here.
Community Development Grant
- Our Community Development Grants provide financial support and resources for local disc organizations who run programs prioritizing racially and ethnically underrepresented and/or low-income youth.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, we will not be accepting new applications from organizations for 2021. Instead, we will reallocate the remaining funds for our 2020 grant recipients to support their programming in Spring 2021, and will later begin accepting applications from organizations interested in running programs in 2022.
College Women’s Startup Project
- The College Women’s Startup Project was launched in 2017 to help foster the growth of college women’s ultimate by incentivizing the creation of teams and facilitating the development of new women’s programs. The initiative provides some of the resources needed most by developing college teams.
- For more information about the College Women’s Startup Project, including how to apply, visit usaultimate.org/college/star.aspx#womensstartup
Girls’ Team Startup Project
- Modeled after the College Women’s Startup Project, GUM’s Girls’ Team Startup Project is a community-wide outreach program that provides support for participating high schools for up to three years to help them develop into competitive and self-sustaining girls’ ultimate teams.
- Girls’ Team Startup Project Application
Girls’ Developmental Scholarship
- The goal of the Girls’ Developmental Scholarship, supported and provided by GUM, is to give new or developing U-20 girls’ club teams the funding to succeed as a team and participate at the Youth Club Championships (YCC) in order to ultimately help grow the girls’ division.
- YCC U-20 Girls’ Developmental Scholarship Application
Who do I contact if I have a concern, question or idea related to equity, diversity, or inclusion?
You can reach the co-chairs of the EDI Team (Stacey Waldrup and Larry Melton) at firstname.lastname@example.org.