Thanks Chip. Last night at the Seattle event it was evident that your feedback was heard, though maybe not 100% internalized by the facilitators. We spent a lot of whole-group time on equity/inclusion, and Hana Kawai really killed it with her talk. Also, there was an easy way to donate discs by throwing them in a donation bin next to the USAU box so that was a nice touch.
That said, there’s a lot of work to do. One of the large themes that emerged for me is that there’s a worry among USAU members that the external focus of the organization is growing at the expense of the membership, and that resources are being misallocated towards upper-tier play as opposed to the work of broadening the base and reach of ultimate through lowering barriers to entry. These barriers can take many forms (financial, logistical, cultural, social, etc.), and as this is a multifaceted issue the solutions to these problems need to be complex as well.
It also seems that within the USAU leadership there is a focus on quotas as a tool to address inequity. However, for me it seems that quotas are too blunt an instrument for such a nuanced and structural issue. Instead of just saying “we need twice as many women on the board” or “we need x% of our leadership representing people of color,” we should instead look to create processes that yield these results. This point seemed lost on the leadership. during our whole-group session, but hopefully we can keep the pressure up.
There was a lot more said that night, but I just wanted to share that bit. Thank you for driving the conversation.
Matt Stenovec, Board Member, DiscNW