AYU and USAU Community Centered Approach to Racial Justice

Our Response to Recommendations Related to Aurora Police Violence

Dear Ultimate Community,

Earlier this summer, USA Ultimate, Altitude Youth Ultimate and other local disc organizations around the country stood in solidarity with Black members of the ultimate community in denouncing the police violence and systemic racism that has afflicted the Black community for centuries and continues to marginalize them to this day. It is clear that all lives can’t matter until Black Lives Matter. We as a community are committed to taking action and prioritizing work around anti-racism and inclusion, recognizing their critical role in the integrity of our sport’s culture, and we welcome your candid thoughts and involvement as we strive to create meaningful change for BIPOC communities.

In response to the racist acts of violence by the Aurora Police Department – some of which made national news –  and to concerns for safety from within our community, Altitude Youth Ultimate/Colorado Ultimate recently hosted an independently moderated focus group featuring Black members of the local and national ultimate community and non-ultimate players living in Aurora, Colo. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss what USAU and AYU could do, not just to create a safe and inclusive environment for BIPOC at events hosted in Aurora and at the Aurora Sports Park, but also to actively support and engage with people in the community.

After hearing recommendations from the group and having several internal conversations, USAU and AYU have put together a list of commitments to advance our progress in serving BIPOC communities. We have also provided expanded descriptions of each organization’s commitments.

Our Commitment in Response to the Aurora Transparency and Accountability Focus Group

The more we delve into this work, the more we learn from our mistakes and recognize the challenges we face, as a predominantly white community, in transforming our culture and our sport. We continue to learn, grow, understand and progress, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to work together – through honest, collaborative dialogue and actions – to make meaningful progress.

Actively listening to our community – especially those most impacted by bias, prejudice, institutional inequities and systemic oppression – will make this work stronger. We strive for a day when a player’s ability to access the sport and feel a true sense of belonging both on and off the field can in no way be impacted by race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion or socioeconomic status. We have a tremendous amount of work to do. We thank you for your partnership, participation and patience.

Sincerely,

USA Ultimate and Altitude Youth Ultimate

 

AYU COMMITMENTS (EXPANDED)        USAU COMMITMENTS (EXPANDED)


Focus Group Recommendations

USA Ultimate (USAU)

Altitude Youth Ultimate (AYU)

Translate Primary Resources into Spanish

USAU WILL…

  • Finalize translations of our medical forms and playing waivers
  • Continue translations of educational resources and website content
  • Utilize affiliate network to identify and pay translators to review

AYU WILL…

  • Prioritize translating important website pages, registration documents and other resources
  • Collaborate with and pay local Spanish-speaking community to help with translations

Provide Space for Cultural Competency

USAU WILL…

  • Host 1-2 annual “teach-in” discussions at our flagship events; at least at one event in Aurora when possible.

AYU WILL…

  • Provide Colorado ultimate community with cultural competency trainings from local EDI facilitators
  • Collaborate with ultimate players and teams to support “teach-in” discussions they are hosting
  • Assist USAU with offering “teach-ins” at events in Aurora

Empower Network of BIPOC at Events

USAU WILL…

  •  Host reception-like event at one 2021 championship event
  • Further conversations with Color of Ultimate to host showcase games

AYU WILL…

  • Assist USAU with any receptions at events at Aurora Sports Park
  • Seek to host a Color of Ultimate event in Colorado

Bring BIPOC Youth to Learn to Play Clinics

USAU WILL…

  • Provide guidance for local organizations hosting clinics at our events on outreaching to BIPOC communities

AYU WILL…

  • Contract a local community advisor to improve clinic outreach
  • Partner with local schools and youth-serving organizations serving BIPOC youth
  • Develop & train coaches from BIPOC communities to lead local teams and clinics

Publicly Stand with BIPOC and Condemn Police Racism

USAU WILL…

  • Publicize our solidarity with BIPOC, commitment to EDI and condemnation of police racism in each event guide
  • Highlight our commitments around EDI in event bid documents
  • Emphasize with police and security a community-oriented approach with our event participants and attendees
  • Encourage city and partner organizations to show solidarity with and welcome BIPOC communities, and to acknowledge history of racial tensions with their welcome letters

AYU WILL…

  • Share this joint statement condemning racist police violence with Aurora city organizations

 

Create BIPOC Playing Opportunities within Existing Competition

USAU WILL…

  • Continue to funnel resources, including grant funding to local organizations outreaching to BIPOC communities
  • Encourage local organizations to connect BIPOC youth attending clinics at our flagship championship events to existing playing opportunities

AYU WILL…

  • Offer free to low-cost ultimate camps in Aurora for girls, Black and Latinx youth
  • Outreach to existing BIPOC ultimate players in Aurora to explore new playing opportunities

Amplify BIPOC Experiences & Visibility

USAU WILL…

  • Dedicate a section of its new website to EDI
  • Regularly feature stories and voices of BIPOC members of our community

AYU WILL…

  • Celebrate and amplify local BIPOC players and coaches on website
  • Celebrate and amplify work done to support social justice in the Aurora ultimate community

Reprioritize Funds to Directly Support BIPOC at our events

USAU WILL…

  • Work with the Ultimate Foundation to support outreach efforts for clinics at our events



AYU WILL…

  • Prioritize offering camps, clinics and other playing opportunities to BIPOC youth
  • Budget to host EDI educational opportunities to entire AYU community
  • Offer paid roles for BIPOC to provide guidance on how to best serve communities they represent

 

Partner with Local Community Vendors

USAU WILL…

  • Collaborate with local organizers to identify, connect and work with local BIPOC-owned businesses for vendors



AYU WILL…

  • Work with community advisor to build relationships with local BIPOC small-business owners in the community
  • Collaborate with Visit Aurora to identify and connect with local BIPOC businesses as potential resources

Real progress requires broad community involvement. Please reach out to us if you would like to be a part of implementing these commitments.