Dear NENSA Community ~
The senseless killing of George Floyd, and so many others, has brought into sharp focus the injustice of inequality and race in our country and around the globe. These are long-standing problems and it is hard to know where to start to think about how we can be a part of the solution. As an athlete, coach, member, parent, or supporter of cross country skiing here in New England, the important thing now is that we actually do start. I challenge everyone, including myself and my family, to make one change towards good, towards a solution. After you have done that, then make another. Make it a pattern for positivity in this world.
Here are three simple things we can all do individually to start with:
1. Register to VOTE (if you are soon to be eligible or not yet registered) and then EVERYBODY go out and VOTE! Local and National elections, primaries and the big ones this fall.
2. Donate some of your time or resources to a cause that can help make a difference. There are many out there doing a lot of important work ~ find one that speaks to you and get involved.
3. Educate ourselves. Education is a lifelong process. Right now, is the time for learning more from different voices than our own – about racism, diversity, biases, equality and inclusion – see BLM Resource List below for some ideas.
Here are three things NENSA is going to do:
1. We will write a Diversity & Inclusivity policy. We do have a Transgender Policy, and we are going to build on that to be sure it is stated that our NENSA mission is to be inclusive of all – no matter your race, religion or sexual orientation. Sometimes it takes a time like this to show what is missing.
2. NENSA is looking at long-term ways to make the New England ski community a more welcoming environment for people of color, and we will be looking at how our organization can support black businesses and institutions.
3. We will work to create more opportunities for BIPOC programing and partnerships within NENSA and our New England ski community.
Thank you all for joining us in this effort. As a community of endurance athletes who know the importance of getting the details right and working every day to achieve difficult long-term goals, I know we can make big difference.
Amie W. Smith
Executive Director | NENSA
BLM Resource List Tab on www.NENSA.net homepage:
This list has many great ideas of things to read, watch or listen to, and organizations to donate to. This is by no means a comprehensive list of all resources, but I invite you to start here, and if this is helpful, share these ideas with others. Thanks to all those who have helped pull this list together.