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USA Climbing Launches Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force

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The sport of climbing is growing rapidly in the United States and around the world. With this expansion comes responsibility from the community to ensure that the sport is open and inclusive to everyone no matter their race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity. USA Climbing wants to become a leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion in the sport. USA Climbing announces the formation of a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force (DEITF) to best assess, identify, and implement changes to these areas in competitive and recreational climbing throughout the country.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force

The purpose of the DEITF will be to make recommendations to the USA Climbing Board of Directors (the “Board”) and Staff on how to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the membership, operation, and leadership of USA Climbing. Key responsibilities of the DEITF include, among others:

• To recommend a final version of the DEITF Charter for approval by the Board.

• To assess the current state of DEI within USAC and identify areas of weakness and strength (including by accessing surveys and studies previously performed by or for USAC, and, if desired by the DEITF, recommending new ones). From this assessment the DEITF will create and recommend to the Board a clear vision for the future of USAC with DEI.

• To review the USOC Diversity and Inclusion Department standards and recommend a climbing specific model that embraces these principles based on these standards and similar models.

• To examine other sports’ standards for diversity to see if certain guideline principles can be carried over to USAC.

• To examine potential incentives encouraging climbing facilities, coaches, teams and other USAC Climbing members teams to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the sport of climbing.

• To propose diversity goals for USAC membership, operations, and leadership that are quantifiable and can be used as a metric to examine improvement which may include tracking the number of women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQAI+, and people with disabilities identifying as members of USAC (e.g., coaches, setters, and competitors) as well as the larger United States body of climbers as a whole.

• To collaborate with other USAC Committees, and other stakeholders as applicable, e.g., Rules Committee, Adaptive Committee, Routesetting Committee, Coaching Committee, USAC Athletes’ Advisory Committee, Collegiate Climbing Steering Committee, USA Climbing Regional Coordinators, and USA Climbing Staff in an effort to rule out or manage obstacles to its intended recommendations and to maximize the likelihood that its recommendations, if approved, can be implemented in a smooth and timely manner.

• To consider whether cases and complaints, directed to USAC, related to exclusion or discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality, or disability, should be directed to an existing channel, or whether a new procedure should be created for raising this type of concern.

• Hosting of membership open houses throughout the course of the DEITF’s work taking input and providing updates to USAC membership.

The DEITF will be comprised of 10 voting members, including two Athletes eligible under Section 11.2 of USAC’s Bylaws, which can be accessed HERE. Preference will be given to those with previous DEI training. All members of the DEITF must undergo diversity, equity and inclusion training as outlined by the DEITF.

These are volunteer positions, with the potential for the Task Force to recommend a path forward for the retention by USA Climbing of paid staff or independent contractor work in this area. Members will be expected to participate in monthly or bimonthly phone calls, and aid in making recommendations to the Board of USAC.

Those interested in serving on this critical task force are encouraged to reach out to the Nominating and Governance Committee by email expressing interest and relevant experience along with a resume no later than May 12th, 2019, at:

Greg Padovani, Sr Chairman, USA Climbing Nominating & Governance Committee (NGC)

Each candidate will be asked to complete a USAC Conflict-Of-Interest Questionnaire. The DEITF will work closely with other USAC Committees, the RTF, and other stakeholders to create an initial comprehensive report no later than early December 2019 to the Board and a final report and recommendation in early February 2020.

Other Eligibility & Selection Information for the DEITF

Eligibility Requirements

Task Force members must be: a current USAC member; US Citizen or permanent legal resident; and age 18 or older by Dec 31, 2019.

USA Climbing Commitment to Diversity

USA Climbing encourages all to participate. Members of the Board, committees, working groups, and task forces are generally selected without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity, although in this case, given the mission of the DEITF, the NGC may consider favorably an applicant’s identification as falling within a group underrepresented in membership, operation, or leadership of USA Climbing. USA Climbing is committed to providing equal opportunity to amateur athletes, coaches, trainers, managers, administrators, and officials to participate in climbing competitions without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, or national origin. Diversity at all levels of USA Climbing is desirable, including among the membership of the Board, Committees, Task Forces and Working Groups, and among its athletes. Open discussion and the presentation of a diversity of views is encouraged.

About the Selection Process

The USAC NGC reviews all interested individuals and then recommends candidate(s) to the USAC Board of Directors for final approval.