What work has the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and Advocacy Committee created in 2017 accomplished? Why hasn’t it been enough?
We recognize that the work of D&I has felt slow; but the D&I Committee, along with staff and organizational leadership, has been engaged in several major organizational initiatives that have some sincere impacts:
- In order to change the culture of the WFTDA, D&I and WFTDA leadership knew that two key issues to address were the Code of Conduct and Grievance Process.
- Overhauling the WFTDA Code of Conduct was a massive, multi-year effort that required two staff members, an attorney, our D&I committee members, and more.
- We began requiring all participants to sign and agree to the new Code of Conduct
- We developed the “Code of Conduct Toolkit,” which provides education materials for leagues to learn more about how to intentionally create an antiracist and inclusive culture, improve their league codes of conduct, and create their own diversity and inclusion committees.
- Overhauling our broken grievance process so that Code of Conduct violations can be addressed in a timely fashion, and that has also been an ongoing process for two years.
- Creating the Support Services program so that community members experiencing discrimination or oppression in their league have a place to turn to for support and guidance, and an outside party to help advocate on their behalf.
These changes have all been implemented within the past year, with Support Services becoming available just in April. Especially in light of seasons being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is too soon to know if they are making a difference yet. But there is so much more we can do: For example, D&I has begun an analysis of league logos and names for bringing to membership. This is work we intend to expedite in the near future, along with educational tools over time, including additional support for leagues.