7/20/20 – WFTDA Anti-Racism Update

Dear Roller Derby Community,

Here is an update on the work of the past week:

The WFTDA Executive Director met with members of Atlanta Roller Derby to discuss short-term steps that can make immediate improvements, including a microaggression reporting template. The status of these items will be reported out in the weeks to come.

The WFTDA Executive Director also held Open Office Hours and discussed how the next few weeks of steps will take place, including:

  • Scheduling a WFTDA Member Diversity and Inclusion session on anti-racism with Dr. Bennett Alexander. Date will be provided in next week’s anti-racism statement;
  • Scheduling a WFTDA Member Organization policy workshop for leagues to discuss their Codes of Conduct and additional policies that can help develop a culture of Anti-racism at the ground level;
  • Building out an Anti-racism team to help with 6 months of policy review in the WFTDA, including items recommended by Atlanta Roller Derby in their July Open Letter to the WFTDA. The goal is for the Anti-racism team to review in-depth the structures and policies within every corner of the organization that perpetuate marginalization, and work with Officers, Board, and Staff to design more appropriate systems. More details about these steps will be released with next week’s Anti-racism update.
  • Announcing next steps and requirements for our WFTDA Advisory Committee, which will provide support and knowledge gaps to the WFTDA Board of Directors.

WFTDA leadership collectively engaged in much-needed training around anti-racism and diversity and inclusion initiatives. Led by Dr. Dawn Bennett-Alexander, our WFTDA Board and Staff reviewed systems and processes at the heart of the organization, and it is our hope that we can examine these systems with the goal of eradicating marginalization and eliminating harm to members of our community.

The WFTDA Board of Directors held its first open session of the monthly Board meeting on Saturday, July 18, and a dozen members of the community attended. Participants were able to ask questions of the Board, and hear information regarding organizational operations. The next WFTDA Board of Directors meeting will take place in August, and the date will be announced in next week’s Anti-Racism update.

We would also like to remind you of the next Board of Directors Open Call that will have daytime hours for those in European time zones. More information on how to join this call will be shared on our socials this week, but please save the following date and time:

  • Sunday 7/26/2020 at 12:00pm ET. Evening hours for Europe, South Africa, Egypt, Lebanon. Daytime hours for South America.

Another round of Q&A responses will be published in the coming days, as we put together thoughtful and thorough responses to your important questions.

Finally, members of the WFTDA Leadership are grateful for all of the feedback and engagement we’ve received around issues of anti-racism during the past month. We are using this feedback to compile a list of action items and next steps that will help guide the WFTDA forward to do a substantial policy and systems overhaul in the weeks and years to come, that will be more reflective of the strong, revolutionary organization we wish to be.

This coming week, the WFTDA Staff is focusing on clarifying work plans around Anti-racism work; in the next two weeks, the Staff will begin to roll out the org-wide review process around eradicating racism.


The WFTDA Board of Directors & Staff