Update 9/25/20

Email sent to the team on 9/25/20 to update everyone on DEI work:

We hope your semester is off to a solid start and you’re staying active! We’re emailing to get the team up to date on the DEI and anti-racism work that board has been doing over the past few months, and to invite you all to be more involved in it. This is a long email but all of it is important and there is a form you need to fill out, so read all the way through.

Our DEI work has two essential components: repairing past harm and changing the team culture to prevent future harm. We have been working with team members as well as Latrina Denson from the Office of Community and Inclusion on this work. In terms of trying to make up for the ways that racism on our team has harmed our BIPOC teammates, we are working on a system to compensate BIPOC players for the past labor that they have put into the team, including emotional labor. You can expect more information about fundraising for this via a meeting and an email soon. Board, both current and former members, also apologized to Black and non-Black POC over zoom, and will be posting a public apology to our instagram in the coming days. The goal of making this apology public is to hold ourselves publicly accountable for the harm that we’ve done and to work to repair it. We are also in discussions about entering into a more formal restorative justice process, and we will update you about that as the process moves forward.

For the future, we will be voting to institute the DEI coordinator board position that we failed to implement after DEI discussions with a group of PoC players last spring. We are so excited that Elizabeth has joined the board in this role for now, and we will be holding official elections for the position during the next election cycle (at the end of this semester). We intend for this role to be filled by two teammates, similar to the social chair or captain position. We are also rethinking the role of ombuds as a peer mediator, who will be a separate board member (not a doubled role as it is now).We will also, before the next election cycle, vote on  adding this position to the constitution and will be working on updating the DEI statement that is currently in the constitution. We will be having anti-racism trainings for the board and the team this semester and in all coming semesters Elizabeth has put together an anonymous form where you can report incidents of bias to her. Additionally, we will be creating a fund to pay for dues, USA Rugby registration, and equipment costs for BIPOC players. 

Everyone on the team is required to sign an anti-racism contract. You can read and sign the contract here. A copy can also be found here for future reference. You are required to fill out this form in order to participate in rugby activities. If you do not sign the contract via this form, you cannot participate in practices, socials, or other rugby events.

We realize that we haven’t been good at keeping the team dialed into this work over the past few months, and we apologize for that. We discuss it in board meetings every week (Monday 6-7pm), which are open to any member who wants to attend. We will also be sending more information on monetary compensation and restorative justice, and how you can be involved in those things, soon. White team members, we invite you to reflect on how your actions in the past have contributed to a racist team environment, and commit to making rugby a safe and inclusive space for everyone in the future.

Rugby love, 

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