COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., September 1, 2021
The Ultimate Hall of Fame established a new committee—the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee—in the summer of 2020. The committee, co-chaired by Hall members Angela Lin, Harvey Edwards, and Pat King, includes more than a dozen members of the Hall of Fame as well as leaders in the ultimate community from across the country involved in championing equity, inclusivity, and diversity in the sport of ultimate.
One of the first acts of the JEDI committee was to invite its members to a 21-Day Racial Equity Bootcamp organized and hosted by Taylor Kanemori (@tkallday206), a Seattle-based player, coach, and youth development leader. For three weeks, Taylor would post materials related to race, racism, and racial injustices and invite committee members to interact with the materials and each other. The process gave committee members a way to connect and share experiences and perspectives in a candid and honest forum. It also provided an ideal platform to establish a shared language, deepen committee members’ knowledge, and to engage in difficult discussions.
“Going into the bootcamp,” said Pat King, Class of 2009 and President of the Hall, “I only knew some of committee members by their names and reputations. By the end, everyone who participated in the process had developed a much better understanding of how people who live very different lives can share common values. This understanding brought us all closer together and will certainly help the committee stay focused on striving to achieve important goals.”
Nicole Neumiller, committee member and Director of Programs for Ultimate Impact, a San Francisco-based youth development program, introduced the committee to the bootcamp.
“For nearly a decade-and-a-half I have coached youth ultimate throughout the West Coast. I’ve seen players put in work since middle school to go on to win medals at the nationals and worlds’ level while repeatedly experiencing biased interactions on and off the field. Here is an opportunity to work from positions of power to consider, at an institutional level, how we might engage in meaningful action to further justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion while carrying out the Hall’s mission. The next two generations of Hall of Famers are ready. From five years old to forty plus, they share a passion for playing ultimate and a belief in the power of a self-governed sport. This work is for them and for all of us.”
Harvey Edwards, Class of 2007 and Co-Chair of the committee, added, “The bootcamp provided me with additional strategies for engaging in challenging conversations involving issues of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. It is essential that organizations and individuals have the tools to foster discussions on these social issues at all levels. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ Collectively, we all need to do this work.”
If you know of an organization that is committed to promoting equity and social justice in the sport of ultimate, or if you are interested in the work of the JEDI committee and want to learn more, The Ultimate Hall of Fame would love to hear from you. Please contact: Suzanne Fields, Class of 2004 and Hall of Fame Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Established in 2004, The Ultimate Hall of Fame currently consists of founders, administrators, coaches, and players who have contributed to the development of a sport that is now played worldwide by more than 5 million players in 90 countries on 6 continents.