Three Orgs. Selected to Receive 2020 Community Development Grants

We officially launched our Community Development Grant and are excited to announce the following affiliates as the inaugural recipients: AFDC Juniors., Altitude Youth Ultimate / Colorado Ultimate and Triangle Ultimate. The grant awards organizations who run programs prioritizing racially and ethnically underrepresented and/or low-income youth. The three organizations we awarded will work with USA Ultimate staff liaisons on their proposed program throughout the 2020 calendar year, and will then present at the 2021 USA Ultimate Coach & Organizer Convention on the programs’ successes, lessons learned and future plans with the program.

Equity & Diversity Forum Held at 2019 U.S. Open Club Championships

At the U.S. Open Club Championships, Zara Cadoux of Cadoux Consulting and Albert Alarcon led an Equity & Diversity Forum on the intersection of implicit bias and microaggressions in the sport of ultimate, featuring a panel of both Live Ultimate Ambassadors and other ICC players. Amel Awadelkarim, Chip Chang, Claire Chastain, Trent Dillon, Khalif El-Salaam, Dylan Freechild and Octavia “Opi” Payne shared their perspectives and experiences dealing with these issues both on and off the field. The topics covered during the forum included the racial dynamics in ultimate observed by the panelists, how race and gender impacted their experiences with Spirit of the Game, recognizing how normalized whiteness has become in ultimate and more.

USA Ultimate Lunch & Learn: Institutionalized Racism

USA Ultimate’s latest Lunch ‘n’ Learn session covered the heavy topic of Institutionalized Racism. During the session, staff members watched Ava Duvernay’s award-winning documentary 13th, which took a look at the policies implemented after the adoption of the 13th amendment to that directly or indirectly allowed for discrimination against people of color. The film opened up a whole new perspective for us as a staff on just how long this type of discrimination has existed in our history, how it has impacted communities of color over generations, and how that discrimination is still being permeated today.

Analysis of Spirit of the Game

During our last few EDI Team Meetings, the staff has been focused on analyzing Spirit of the Game for aspects where bias could negatively affect a person’s experience in ultimate. We’ve identified three areas that we are currently modifying to account for bias and subjectivity: Coach Education and Training; the role of the Spirit Captain, Circles and Timeouts; and the language used in the Spirit Score Sheet.

2019 Organizers’ Convention: Laying the Foundation for Equity Work

At the 2019 USA Ultimate Organizers’ Convention in Blaine, Minn. in early August, Zara Cadoux of Cadoux Consulting and Chip Chang facilitated a session focusing on equity in youth ultimate. The session primarily focused on laying a foundation for doing equity work by first teaching people to understand the difference between equity and equality, to become aware of the impact power dynamics have on underserved communities, and then to consider the personal and organizational growth that would be needed to grow an equitable youth program in their community.

Fall STAR Webinar Series: Planning Your Season with an Equity Lens

In late September, players, coaches and leaders from youth, college and TCT teams across the U.S. attended a weekly webinar series led by Zara Cadoux of Cadoux Consulting. The weekly sessions centered on helping teams plan for their 2019-2020 season with an intersectional equity lens. During the interactive, discussion-based meetings, teams learned equity principles, focused on centering relationships and created outcome and process goals for their own areas of focus — everything from playing college mixed ultimate equitably to building an inclusive culture and understanding how a predominantly white team interacts with other teams in the college division.

Community Liaison Volunteer Meeting set for December 2019

In early December, EDI representatives from USA Ultimate will meet with Community Liaison Volunteers Ashleigh Buch and Kelsey Gibboney, along with other transgender and non-binary athletes and coaches. The discussion will cover topics surrounding gender pronouns, anti-doping, and the expansion of USA Ultimate’s Transgender Inclusion Policy to include athletes who identify as non-binary or genderqueer.

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