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US Equestrian Board of Directors Approves Diversity and Inclusion Commitment Statement and Development of Action Plan

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Jun 22, 2020, 7:59 PM EST

Lexington, Ky. – The US Equestrian Board of Directors approved a public-facing Diversity and Inclusion Commitment Statement, as well as the development of a Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, at the 2020 Mid-Year Meeting.

Commitment Statement

This statement shall live on a new Diversity and Inclusion and resource page of the USEF website and reads as follows:

Diversity and inclusion are fundamental to US Equestrian’s vision: To bring the joy of horse sports to as many people as possible.

We recognize the need to achieve increased diversity and that our growth and success depends on the inclusion of all people.

We are committed to providing access and opportunity for people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, veterans and active military personnel, people with disabilities, and those of all ages, religions, ancestries, and genders and gender identities to harness the synergy of diverse talents.

Action Plan

The BOD also approved the development of a Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, which shall deliver specific requirements and goals of US Equestrian staff and programming, as well as provide resources to the equestrian community. The first phase of the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan focuses on education and training, harnessing the power of images, and amplifying traditionally marginalized voices. This includes, but is not limited to, the following items:

  1. Training and Education for sustainable change
    1. Staff are now required to complete the Diversity and Inclusion training, including an unconscious bias module, by June 30
    2. Required training proposed for the Board of Directors, Licensed Officials, and Committee Members
    3. Make training available to Affiliates, and to their respective programs
    4. Make training available to members
    5. Marketing and Human Resources to work together to develop a Shared Language Guide for staff, providing definitions and guidance for talking about traditionally under-represented groups
       
  2. Identify organizations that support D&I initiatives and programs for partnerships
    1. Work with existing sponsors, Centers of Excellence, Recognized Affiliates, and Education Partners
    2. Evaluate grant opportunities
    3. Partner with grassroots organizations
       
  3. Visible Change in diversity representation consistently through Marketing
    1. Measurable increase in Equestrian Weekly and US Equestrian magazine diversity and inclusion themed content and visuals
    2. Digital media expanded to feature traditionally under-represented groups including Member Mondays, original video content and a monthly blog.
    3. Diversify Shop USEF models

A key aspect of the Board’s approval involves the assembly of a diverse team of external thought leaders to help inform and guide US Equestrian’s development and execution of a Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. Work will begin immediately to organize this team.

While there is no easy solution, the BOD agreed that it is essential to the Federation’s strategic goals and growth that US Equestrian develops a data-driven Action Plan to celebrate our existing diversity, attract more diverse members, and improve inclusivity of all equestrians. The detailed plan shall be returned to the BOD for review.

Resource Center

US Equestrian is in the process of developing a dedicated Diversity and Inclusion webpage and Resource Center. The Commitment Statement, letter from CEO Bill Moroney regarding racism, and the Racial Justice Resource Guide are currently available on the new Diversity and Inclusion webpage. The forthcoming Action Plan and additional resource guides, including an LGBTQ+ Resource Guide, will also be publically available on this page.

US Equestrian knows that we cannot tackle this important initiative alone. Your voice as a member/fan is extremely important to us. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact Ashley Swift, Affiliate and Communications Specialist, via email at [email protected].