Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Spring Update
Updates on spring DEI committee projects.
Picking up from last fall, the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) Committee have been meeting weekly with DEI Committee Coordinator Brandi Cannon to shift the perspectives of USQ into a more inclusive and open lens.
Continuing from the first half of the 2020-21 season, the committee was able to complete large projects and bring more updates on notable topics. The top priorities include: implementing affinity groups beyond social media; creating anti-bias training programs for referees, coaches, and eventually players; creating a more streamlined and safe way to report cases of harassment; and continuing the conversations involving marginalized community members. These priorities focused on how USQ can make quidditch more accessible, inclusive, and safe.
The current members of the DEI committee are:
- Brandi Cannon (team lead)
- Carlos Elarba
- Taylor Gibbs
- Vidisha Jha
- Shirley Lu
- Angela Song
Additionally, Tawfik Abbas, Natasha Conerly, Jeremy Hoffman, and Meg Romine are providing project support.
For questions about the DEI committee and their projects, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below are updates on those action items and the progress being made by committee members:
- DEI Pillars
- In December, the committee produced a series on social media, in collaboration with the social media team, on USQ’s seven DEI pillars - equity, inclusion, leadership, learning opportunities, recruitment and retention, spotlight, and safety. Feedback from the interactive portions of this campaign have been part of ongoing conversation with committee members.
- Census Data
- Last year, one of the first projects of the committee was producing a quidditch community census. 750 people filled out the survey. Shirley Lu has been reviewing the data, providing resources to sort and analyze the data to be factored into league updates and strategy for upcoming seasons. In February, Lu detailed Black representation in USQ by compiling the data and creating graphs from raw numbers in order to be compared easily.
- Lu and Cannon presented an overview of the census data at QuidCon on March 6. An article, along with an interactive website that allows you to filter information and see intersectional data, will be released in April.
- Improving DEI lens in USQ
- Resource for team leads on how to get a project launched
- Individual teams will be encouraged to create their own DEI-related projects, serving the needs of their specific communities.
- For projects needing review by the DEI committee, USQ staff will fill out a checklist form that’ll ask questions about the project from a DEI perspective.
- DEI Resource Page
- The committee is working on adding more content to the current DEI resource page, including: how to report harassment on your team; how to access implicit bias training; where to find affinity groups; and definitions of key DEI terms.
- Affinity Groups
- Carlos Elarba will be introducing the start of the affinity group partnership program. It will contain important information such as the definition of an affinity group and different affinity groups that currently exist in the quidditch community. Additional resources will cover how to start and maintain an affinity group, a list of all of the groups, promotion of group-run events, and more.
- Black History Month (BHM)
- Over the past year, it's been important to remind ourselves to be aware of racial discrimination, especially against the Black community. Elarba and Vidisha Jha put together content for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and posted educational material on USQ’s Instagram page (now available as a pinned story highlight).
- Taylor Gibbs and Megan Anderson received nominations of quidditch community members to speak about their heritage and experience in our sport. Those individuals were interviewed and highlightedon USQ’s Instagram and website.
- A BHM celebration was coordinated and run by Cannon and Gibbs at the end of February to bring members of our community together.
- In February, data extracted from the census on Black community members was presented with graphs and explanations. As mentioned above from 2), Lu worked on presenting the data, which was explained in more detail during QuidCon.
- Transgender Advocacy
- A social campaign crafted by Jha was shared on Trans Day of Visibility, advocating for trans rights and sharing insight into ways members of the quidditch community can be allies.
- The committee, with support from USQ staff members Kyle Scheer and Nicole Hammer, produced a letter writing resource video encouraging members of the quidditch community to write to legislators with a specific focus on LGBTQIA+ rights.
- In February, USQ spoke out against two bills being considered in the state of Utah that would restrict the rights of transgender youth.
- Membership Grants
- The committee is helping finalize plans to offer memberships for BIPOC individuals for the 2021-22 season. This project is carefully constructed and targets newly introduced BIPOC players who need financial support. Further updates on how the grant will be offered and registered, ways to access the information, what the grant will include, and more will be made available later this month.
- Harassment Policy
- The committee has developed preliminary restorative justice and consequence measures for those who violate USQ’s unlawful harassment policy. In collaboration with USQ Executive Director Mary Kimball and a coalition of regional coordinators and gameplay coordinators, the committee has also been conducting a review of USQ’s current investigation policies and procedures for harassment reports, and has made recommendations towards improving the process. This includes:
- Releasing an article that outlines how to report harassment, what happens in an investigation, and what the potential consequences are for violating the harassment policy.
- This includes updating the USQ website to make this information easier to find
- A public information campaign to members that goes over how coaches, players, and others in the community can report harassment and get support
- Adopting a new method of submitting harassment reports that will make it easier to file anonymously
- Social Media Campaigns
- The end of the year has a lot of holidays - and the DEI committee felt it was important for them to be highlighted to lighten the atmosphere and to remind us that there are communities we can reach out to to feel connected with each other.
- In collaboration with the social media team, the committee provided information through the USQ Instagram page about customs and traditions around the world to celebrate everyone’s heritage. Jha highlighted about Diwali and Thanksgiving in November; Lu provided insight about Lunar New Year in February which also tied in conversation on Stop AAPI Hate; and more updates will come including but not limited to holidays such as Purim, Holi, Passover, and Ramadan.
- Jha also worked on highlighting Martin Luther King Day which included a series of educational posts on USQ’s Instagram.
- Not only ethnic/racial heritage, DEI plans to also raise awareness of the following commemorative months:
- April: Autism Awareness Month, Arab American Heritage
- May: Mental Health, Jewish American, Asian American/Pacific Islander
- June: Pride
- Black Lives Matter Awareness
- Remembering Breonna Taylor, March 13
- We understand that this can be a heavy and difficult topic to bring, but because of the heaviness it needs to be addressed with others so that we know our community is safe for conversations. A year passed by and we must remember what is happening around us.
- Looking back a year after George Floyd’s murder, May 25; May 26 was the day the protests started.
||Finished Hispanic/Latinx Heritage and Black History Months. Continue with holiday and heritage month features.
||Rulebook 14 updates
||Equity, Inclusion, Safety
||Reviewed current rules and suggested rules and made changes prior to release.
|Office of the ED
||Inclusion, Recruitment, Retention, Leadership
||Continuing outreach to potential candidates (application can be found here)
||Improve evaluation of safety for BIPOC members for event locations
||Evaluate and update current event bid manual and process
||Recruitment/Retention, Inclusion, Leadership
||Prepare data for public release
||Inclusion, Equity, Learning Opportunities
||Identify groups and moderators who will meet throughout the season and create meeting times
||Increase visibility and incorporation of gender pronouns
||Inclusion, Learning Opportunities
||Incorporate gender pronouns to member registration to new USQ website currently in development
||Livestream training program
||Inclusion, Learning Opportunities, Spotlight
||Create sign-up forms for training program and finalize program launch
|Office of the ED
||Update of harassment policies
||Finalize updates to policy and process
|Office of the ED
||Create a DEI resource page on the USQ website
||Identify topics to be covered on this webpage, research and gather resources
||Update USQ brand guidelines
||Creating and sharing training opportunities focused on anti-racism and implicit bias
||Collaborate with MLQ, leadership development team, and referee team to research current training modules available, evaluate if a new module needs created
|Communications, Member Services, Events
||Incorporate more accessibility features for USQ media and resources
||Continue to evaluate current media and resources that can be improved