USQ Update

USQ Update

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion July Update

USQ identifies next steps for DEI initiatives based on BIPOC town hall key takeaways.

July 21 Update: MLQ has also released their specific DEI initiatives for their league. We encourage you to read those here. Both leagues are working collaboratively on DEI initiatives this season and plan to make this a long term practice of collaboration. 


Last month's Black, Indigenous, and non-Black people of color (BIPOC) town hall sessions led to a series of key takeaways shared with the public this month. These key takeaways spoke to the changes that need to be made by both leagues and by members of our community. 

As many know, from their own personal experiences, we are more than a sport. We are a place to create friendship, to build leaders, to provide fulfilling experiences and learning opportunities. We are also  a home. It’s time to take action and ensure our home is a safe and equitable space for everyone currently and for future members of this community.

Pillars for DEI Work

USQ is starting that action by identifying seven pillars also adopted by MLQ for this season's diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work. These pillars are based off of main points shared in the key takeaways. These pillars will help guide and define the focus areas for action items moving forward.

  • Equity: The fair treatment, access, opportunity and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. The principle of equity acknowledges that there are historically underserved and underrepresented populations and that fairness regarding these unbalanced conditions is needed to assist in the provision of adequate opportunities to all groups.
  • Inclusion: The act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported and valued as a fully participating member. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people.
  • Leadership: The development of leaders in the quidditch community with a focus on uplifting the experiences of marginalized groups.
  • Learning Opportunities: The creation of training and educational modules that foster a broader awareness of the experiences of marginalized groups as well as providing tools to put actions in place that create an inclusive environment. 
  • Recruitment/Retention: The process of actively welcoming members from marginalized groups into the sport, while also fixing problems and challenges that block their continued participation. 
  • Spotlight: The creation of social media and PR campaigns that focus attention on the experiences of marginalized groups.
  • Safety: The creation of an environment in which everyone feels comfortable in expressing themselves and participating fully, without fear of attack, harassment, ridicule, or denial of experience. This includes in person and online spaces, and activites/programs that take place on and off the field.

To learn more about the terminology around DEI initiatives and programs, read this glossary of common terms from the University of Washington. We found their definitions, and the resources linked at the bottom of the glossary, helpful in developing the pillars above.

Action Items

In addition to identifying seven pillars, we have also identified 13 initial action items for our organization to focus on during the upcoming weeks.

  1. BIPOC feature in August
    • We want to kick off the season lifting some different voices and stories from the quidditch community. This feature will focus on BIPOC members and uplifting experiences they’ve had while part of this sport. 
  2. Census
    • In May 2020 USQ released a census to gather information about the community we are currently serving. Having an understanding of our current demographics will aid in inclusive practices to better serve our community. Our initial goal was 600 participants. As of July 20 we surpassed that goal and have a new goal of 900 participants. Increasing our goal will help us get an even more accurate representation of the community.
  3. Increased visibility and incorporation of gender pronouns
    • As mentioned in our May 2020 DEI team update, USQ will be moving to include gender pronouns in all USQ staff and volunteer email signatures. We will also be working towards including gender pronouns on USQ event volunteer forms and individual member registration. You can read more about this initiative in our previously shared May update.
  4. Review of DEI aspects relating to Rulebook 14
    • USQ will be delaying the release of Rulebook 14 (originally slated for August 13) to take time to evaluate, and address any potential for, implicit bias or DEI related safety concerns the current rules may create. It’s important that the words our league so heavily relies on accurately reflects the equitable space we are working towards creating for everyone.
  5. Affinity groups
    • Providing a safe space for individuals of similar identities to connect is important for the growth of our sport. These spaces give opportunity for individuals to share their experience comfortably with others who may have faced similar experiences and make way for discussions that can lead towards continued change for quidditch and the experiences individuals have within it. 
  6. Update of harassment policies
    • USQ will update its current harassment policy. This includes the reporting process, added transparency on action taken on reports, and clarity on action that can be taken on certain issues––in particular issues related to racial harassment and cyberbullying. Additionally, USQ aims to work more collaboratively with MLQ and quidditch conference leaders on harassment issues as they arise.
  7. Livestream commentary program with DEI accountability
    • We will be creating an inclusion rider, which is a set of accountability metrics,  for all regional and national USQ broadcasts that will coincide with our new livestream commentator training pipeline. This rider will serve to mandate that we are hearing marginalized voices reflective of our regions/nations demographics and above. We are recording demographic information on initial interest form as well as who is receiving certifications as a metric for tracking our diversity initiatives and seeing if there is a specific phase of training that there is a fall-off in diversity. This will give us analytics we can use to create a baseline to improve from as well as hold ourselves accountable to maintain. We will use this information to see where we are falling short in having diverse voices in quidditch broadcasting and course correct. It’s extremely important that we are being equitable about what voices are being heard as experts in quidditch as we establish this broadcasting network. Now is the best time to implement change instead of fixing problems down the road. If interested in helping with this program please email volunteer@usquidditch.org
  8. Board recruitment with BIPOC focus
    • Since its founding as a nonprofit in 2010, USQ’s board of directors have always been majority white. This group is involved with many key decisions for our sport and responsible for the long-term vision and financial health of this organization. Diversifying this group is critical to USQ’s diversity and equity commitments.
  9. Create a DEI resource page on the USQ website
    • USQ will create a virtual space for our community to have access to resources focused on further learning about DEI related topics.
  10. Improve evaluation of safety for BIPOC members at event locations
    • When hosting events, USQ wants to ensure its members feel safe not only in the host city but in the surrounding area as well in terms of travel. USQ will be working towards improving our event bidding and evaluation process to ensure safety is a top priority in this process.
  11. Update of brand guidelines
    • Ensuring there is diverse representation in USQ’s media is important. In the past, our brand guidelines typically focused on gender representation. It is an internal document that defines how our organization should be presented visually in various mediums. Being more intentional to expand that representation to race/ethnicity as well is important for recruitment and retention of our BIPOC community members.
  12. Creating and sharing training opportunities focused on anti-racism and implicit bias
    • Included in our new DEI webpage, USQ plans to offer a series of learning modules focused on different DEI topics––including anti-racism and implicit bias. These learning modules will be available for members and strongly encouraged to be completed by everyone once available. 
  13. Incorporate more accessibility features for USQ media and resources
    • USQ wants to ensure that our media and resources are easily accessible for anyone, regardless of ability. Making our information easier to access for those with sight, hearing, or learning disabilities, for example, will be a priority for this season. The results of the accessibility review and the list of changes USQ is making will be posted on our website, as a resource for teams, conferences, other leagues, and the rest of our community.

next steps

Next steps and progress on these action items can be found below. USQ will provide regular reports to the public on the progress of these action items. The next update will be posted in August, when we announce the new members of the DEI committee.

Department Initiative Focus Next Actions  Progress Goal Deadline
Communications BIPOC features Spotlight Provide opportunity for nominations of who to feature, gather stories for feature 0% August 2020
Member Services Census Recruitment/Retention, Inclusion, Leadership Push for new goal of 900 participants, begin to evaluate data 50% August 2020
Member Services Increase visibility and incorporation of gender pronouns Inclusion, Learning Opportunities Finalize volunteer handbook which incorporates inclusion of gender pronouns in email signatures, incorporate gender pronouns to member registration 25% August 2020
Gameplay Rulebook 14 updates Equity, Inclusion, Safety Review current rules and suggested rules, make changes as needed to the rulebook 0% September 2020
Member Services Affinity groups Inclusion, Equity, Learning Opportunities Identify groups who will meet throughout the season and create meeting times 0% September 2020
Office of the ED Update of harassment policies Safety, Equity Evaluate current policy, research other NGB policies, make updates to policy and process 10% September 2020
Communications Livestream training program Inclusion, Learning Opportunities, Spotlight Finish DEI component of training program, create remainder of the program 25% October 2020
Office of the ED Board recruitment  Inclusion, Recruitment, Retention, Leadership Reaching out to potential good candidates, opening up applications 0% October 2020
Office of the ED Create a DEI resource page on the USQ website Learning Opportunities Identify topics to be covered on this webpage, research and gather resources 5% October 2020
Events Improve evaluation of safety for BIPOC members for event locations  Safety Evaluate current event bidding process 10% November 2020
Communications Brand guidelines Spotlight, Inclusion Update USQ brand guidelines 10% December 2020
Member Services Creating and sharing training opportunities focused on anti-racism and implicit bias Learning Opportunities Research current training modules available, evaluate if a new module needs created 0% December 2020
Communications, Member Services, Events Incorporate more accessibility features for USQ media and resources Inclusion, Equity Evaluate current media and resources that can be improved 10% December 2020

How to Get Involved

In May, USQ announced its new diversity, equity, & inclusion (DEI) committee, a group dedicated to furthering initiatives to continue to make quidditch a safe and welcoming place for people of all backgrounds to participate in. The team is now ready to expand and is looking for applicants to join the committee. The full role description can be found here. Interested applicants must fill out this form to apply. This application is due by 11:59 PM PT on Friday, July 31.

Questions?

Any questions can be directed to strategicplanning@usquidditch.org