A Commitment to Change
Published on June 16th, 2020
The Community Sailing Center is a vital hub on the shores of Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont, providing access, education, and recreation to everyone regardless of age, gender, race, physical ability, or the means to pay.
As a community facility, it pays particular attention enabling underserved populations to have access and take ownership of Lake Champlain. Given the recent unrest in the USA, they recognize a need to dig deeper into how to best fulfill their mission. To that, they have issued this statement on racial injustice:
Over the last few weeks, our staff have watched individuals nationwide stand up and speak out against the racial injustice impacting communities of color. Their words have encouraged reflection and highlighted the work ahead of us at the Community Sailing Center.
We stand with those in our community who experience repression at the hands of others, and we strongly denounce any actions of violence, discrimination and hate.
We recognize that the Community Sailing Center has work to do to ensure that our staff, board and daily participants are a reflection of the diverse communities we serve. The journey towards diversity and inclusion will be long and achieved through short and long term changes.
Lasting change in the sport of sailing, on-water recreation, and among our community of participants can only be achieved by incorporating different voices and perspectives. We know this growth is a legacy meant for more than just one person, partnership, or program.
As we move forward, the Community Sailing Center commits to the following action steps:
• Conduct an internal diversity & inclusion evaluation of our organization, practices, and participants to be completed by 2021.
• Develop key performance indicators based off of those findings and report on how we realized these goals.
• Institutionalize cultural competency as part of our annual staff training.
• Work towards a minimum of 20% BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) participation on the board & 20% BIPOC hired for seasonal and full time staff.
There are always more conversations to be had and more things that can be done. We see them as waypoints, not destinations. There is no end of this journey and no point where we get to declare victory for having more diverse participation. These successes could have been accomplished many years ago.
As an organization, we will take time to understand the barriers we are aware of, and those we are not. It is only then that we can make our center truly inclusive for all.