USQ supports the Black Lives Matter movement and the broader fight against racial injustice and police brutality.
USQ is committed to the principles of diversity and inclusion. We believe that our community should protect everyone, especially Black people, and that our sport should be safe for people of all backgrounds to participate in.
USQ has always been a white-led organization. Although gender diversity and inclusion have been critical to our mission since the organization’s founding, race has been a blind spot, and we have only begun to focus on the experiences of Black people and people of color in our community and the barriers they face in fully participating in our sport.
We stand in solidarity with those protesting racial injustice, violence against Black people, and police brutality. We feel it is important to step aside and give room for the voices of our affected community to be heard during this time. To that end, we are pushing some programs and announcements back at least a week. In particular, voting for national individual awards will be extended to Friday, June 12, and the winners will be announced Wednesday, June 19. We’re also sharing resources about how to support the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as a list of organizations that are specifically engaged in anti-racism initiatives, criminal justice reform, and social justice work. The rest of this article is divided into three parts: USQ actions, community actions, and further work.
Last month, we announced that USQ now has a diversity and equity committee and is committed to making change in the quidditch community this upcoming season and in future seasons.
The committee’s first project is a census, which you can fill out here. The census will help us better understand the demographics of those we currently serve. Having a deeper understanding of our community is so important and will help inform us how to proceed with initiatives this upcoming season aimed at lifting and growing underrepresented groups including, but not limited to, recruitment and retention of players of color.
One of our broader goals is to create safe spaces for people to communicate with each other. Next season, we will be creating affinity groups for underrepresented demographics where players and community members can have conversations, find shared interests and goals, and have a space for listening to one another. Specifically, we want to create a space where people can talk about microaggressions and racism they’ve experienced in this sport. While the code of conduct does prohibit discriminatory language or actions, there hasn’t been enough organizational support in giving people an outlet to make their voice heard around these matters.
We’re also further refining our brand guidelines to better include people of color and promote diversity beyond gender. USQ’s brand guidelines are an internal document that define how our organization should be presented visually in various mediums. For the past 5 years, the guidelines have solely focused on gender representation when it comes to the photos and videos that we use in different design projects.. We have been working over the past year to change these guidelines, to expand them to include other identities such as race, ethnicity, body types, etc. We will be making these new guidelines public on our website, to encourage better representation of our community across member teams and other quidditch organizations, along with anyone else who would like to utilize them as well.
USQ will also continue to do spotlights for commemorative months on social media channels. We want to elevate stories of those underrepresented members of our quidditch community. An update will also be made to our website adding a page focused on diversity and equity resources and initiative updates from USQ.
“In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist,” said Angela Y. Davis, an American political activist.
Right now, we must all speak out against racism and the effects of white supremacy. We need to replace both with equity. White people, who benefit from systemic racism regardless of intentions, especially have to actively support Black people and people of color in this fight. Instagram accounts such as Showing Up for Racial Justice and White People 4 Black Lives provide guidance for solidarity, and our friends at The Harry Potter Alliance have long supported the fight for equality through education, resource sharing, and fan-based activism.
Below we have provided some additional suggestions for how white people in our community can take positive action:
As a thoughtful community member, how can you do more to make a difference? A good first step is having conversations with people in your community - both in and out of quidditch - about issues that arise. Remember to be honest, open-minded, and willing to listen. You might have some potentially uncomfortable discussions. That’s okay. This kind of discourse is a crucial part of the learning process.
You can also consider volunteering your time or donating to groups that support local Black communities. We’ve included a list of some organizations to support at the end of this article.
Instead of being a bystander, watching racial injustice unfold across the country without taking action, be an active upstander for safety, inclusion, and justice. You can do this by recognizing unsafe and ostracizing practices. For example, if someone is saying racial slurs during a quidditch match, speak up against it. Responding may be difficult, but remember that those who are targeted with bigotry and intolerance are hurt and face discrimination frequently. By speaking up, you are providing support and protection.
Here is more information on the concept of being an upstander:
We can better understand each other by identifying what makes us different. Recognize what identities are most important to you, and then think about which ones may receive less of your conscious attention. Identities can include race, religion, gender, ability, class, and education. By reflecting on these, you can help identify and acknowledge implicit biases you may unconsciously have, and thus avoid unintentional discrimination to others.
It’s essential that we educate ourselves about issues of injustice. We can take even better care of our community by increasing our own awareness of a situation and listening and reading for deeper meaning. Here are some resources that you can start with:
Here are some organizations that USQ staff members are donating their time, money, and voices to. We welcome you to share with us the organizations that you support. We will post about them on our social media this week. You can send us a direct message on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, leave a comment on our social media posts, or contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These organizations help people who are incarcerated get out of jail and prepare for their trial from a position of freedom. Bail fund organizations are also engaged in criminal justice reform.
Angela Davis was a renowned educator, feminist, and activist. She published an autobiography in 1974, among several other books. Her work and life were the recent focus of an exhibition at Harvard University, and you can learn more about it here. Cornell University also has a resource guide on Davis’ different publications over the years.