WFTDA Board of Directors Statement on Anti-Racism

To the membership and the broader roller derby community, the WFTDA Board of Directors apologizes for the poorly-conceived and unhelpful “Open Forum” on Friday June 5th.

We disappointed our membership by neither engaging with you or answering your questions, nor were we able to provide a concrete plan or set of initiatives for how we would be moving forward. Our response was rushed, reactionary, and hurtful, and in issuing it we were disrespectful to our community. We acknowledge this shortcoming and hope to earn back some of the trust eroded by engaging more thoughtfully moving forward.

To start, WFTDA leadership is making the following pledge:

The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association is committing itself to becoming an actively anti-racist organization. 

The WFTDA understands anti-racism to be an active and conscious effort to work against multidimensional aspects of racism. Being anti-racist is the act of interrupting and fighting against racism. 

We require all our partners and member leagues to commit to being anti-racist, and to understand that this core work is integral to ensuring equity among our intersectional membership. To ensure this active effort, we’re committing to improve enforcement of the WFTDA Code of Conduct in situations that involve complicity in upholding racist systems through refusal to act. Per existing WFTDA policy, any violation of the Code of Conduct can result in disciplinary action, up to and including permanent expulsion from the WFTDA.

All Member Leagues are expected to make this commitment alongside us, and develop a firm understanding of intersectionality and the many ways in which racism contributes to further marginalization of all our communities. 

We are developing a preliminary work plan with concrete goals to address racism. We commit to transparent long term anti-racism work within the WFTDA and its member leagues and resisting the impulse to provide a quick fix.

Days ago, we held the first of many working meetings with the Board of Directors, the WFTDA Executive Director and members of the WFTDA Staff, the WFTDA D&I Committee, and several of our Accountability Partners. The Accountability Partner program began assembly at the end of 2019 and will be formally announced following this statement. We will continue to meet with this group of collaborators to examine how our current structures uphold white dominance.

Our next meeting will be on Saturday July 11th, at which time we will share our assessment of the organizational culture at the WFTDA, which we know are built in white privilege and white supremacy, concepts we discuss in the WFTDA Code of Conduct Toolkit. We will report back to Membership with an action plan to dismantle and rebuild an organization that represents our community values.

Please use the form below to submit your additional thoughts and suggestions.