As often happens outrage and sadness lead to self-examination. We are only at the beginning of this process, but it is already apparent that we must take action to stem the tide of systemic racism and social injustice in the world of sport. In an attempt to support a community that values diversity, equality and inclusion and to change the narrative we have spent the past several days engaging with members of our community. These critical conversations surround our ability to create an infrastructure within the diving ecosphere that combats institutional racism and promotes access to the sport.
After identifying and examining the challenges that have perpetuated a lack of accessibility and led to the underrepresentation of people of color that plagues our sport, we have pinpointed immediate action items as well as longer-term initiatives that we are committed to implementing.
Part of that commitment is to provide better access, representation and more opportunities within diving for everyone. However, it cannot stop there. We need to be better global citizens if we are to break the cycle of institutional racism.
Here is where we start:
1. We have formed a Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Council consisting of staff members, athletes, coaches and thought leaders to assist us in addressing diversity, equality and inclusion considerations and help us identify opportunities to improve.
To ensure we achieve our goals of creating and maintaining a culture that embraces the unique perspectives and journeys of every person, USA Diving has charged this council with developing long term directives for promoting Diversity and Inclusion. As its priority, this council is to create a plan that will be shared publicly in order to:
A. Address the lack of accessibility of facilities and programs in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas.
B. Learn from and partner with the people and organizations who are already creating positive change.
2. We will announce a structured financial commitment specifically addressing diversity, equality and inclusion in the coming weeks.
In order to properly serve underrepresented communities across the country, we must invest in creating sustainable programs and initiatives which will dismantle the current barriers to entry in the sport of diving. We are committed to creating opportunities for generations to come.
When the time comes, we welcome participation in these efforts and hope that our partners and greater community will consider working alongside us in these endeavors.
3. We will make resources and training on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion readily available, create opportunities for productive discussions to educate our community on social justice and work to improve representation and communication within our entire community.
A. We have created a list of resources on Social Justice that can be found here: https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Diving/Diversity-Equality-and-Inclusion
B. We will be hosting a series of discussions focusing on Social Justice issues which will be posted on our social media, available on our podcast and website.
C. We will work to ensure that we voice representation of the viewpoints of our athletes and members that actively support diversity, equality and inclusion.
USA Diving promises to use our influence, resources, platform and network to support underrepresented communities. We ask that you hold us accountable, work alongside us and partner with us to help us create a community where individuals from every background are welcome, respected and safe from harassment and bullying. We will build a diverse team of leaders to inspire the next generation of divers.
If you have ideas or know individuals that we should include. If you are aware of organizations we should be working with or have a specific idea on how we can propel our initiatives forward, please send your thoughts to Kelly Fox at email@example.com.