USAU Vision Tour Cheat Sheet For Socially Conscious Ultimate Players

by | March 21, 2017, 6:30pm 3

USA Ultimate announced an 11 City Vision Tour where they’ll be hosting town hall meetings to meet with the community to determine the 2019-2021 Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan is what USAU uses to guide their decision-making process for the future, and it’s time to draft a new one. Here’s their 6 year strategic plan from 2013-2018.

In collaboration with advocates in the community, the Gender Equity Action Group has created a cheat sheet of questions to ask at these meetings for socially conscious ultimate players. These town halls are a great way to use our voice and engage with USA Ultimate. We encourage you all to attend if you are able and have provided a document so you can print out copies of this form to share and bring to the town hall meetings.

 

USAU Vision Tour Cheat Sheet For Socially Conscious Ultimate Players

Questions to Pose:

Strategic Plan

  • How will the strategic plan incorporate equity and diversity?
  • The number one priority of the last strategic plan was visibility. Are there instances that the membership may not be aware of when equity superseded the visibility priority?
  • When other Strategic Plan priorities raise equity issues, how will USAU address those conflicts in a way that best serves the membership?
  • How can a focus on equity and diversity be leveraged to increase our sport’s visibility?

USAU’s Equity and Diversity Task Force

  • How does the Equity and Diversity task force work?
  • Do you track equity complaints filed with the task force? How do you file a complaint?
  • What internal mechanisms are in place to initiate equity task force reviews of policies and procedures? Are competition guidelines reviewed before release?
  • What transparency & accountability mechanisms are there to the membership?
  • What are three tangible things the Equity and Diversity task force has worked on since its inception in 2015?

Decision Making

  • What specific challenges to equity has USAU already faced, e.g. in negotiations with partner organizations? How were those challenges handled? What was the outcome?
  • What is the rationale for not publishing the votes of our elected BoD representatives?
  • How does USAU ensure gender and racial diversity in the sport’s governance (BoD, Staff, high level volunteers)? Is there a “Rooney Rule” for all staff positions?

Racial Equity

  • How is USAU addressing racial equity specifically?
  • What are the goals of USA Ultimate in regards to racial diversity?

Class/Socio-Economic Equity

  • The narrative of ultimate is that it is cheap to play. It is not, however, cheap to compete. What are USAU’s plans to make ultimate more accessible to low-income players?
  • Are there any plans through the Foundation to make YCCs, Regionals, and memberships more financially accessible to youth players?

Gender Equity

  • How is USAU addressing gender-equity beyond GUM?
  • How can we engage with equity and diversity without always relying on female volunteers to do the labor?
  • In what situations is gender-equity considered a number one priority (over other strategic priorities such as visibility)?
  • What members/organizations of the trans community are you seeking guidance from as you look to implement policies? What policies are being examined?

Demands:

  • Commitment to equitable growth as the #1 strategic goal of the new plan
  • Include equity belief statement & accountability measures in the strategic plan
  • Paid Equity Ombudsperson
    • Publicized mechanisms and timeline for reviewing equity complaints
    • Internal mechanisms for equity review to policies before release
  • Make board votes public
  • Equal broadcasting time for all divisions
  • Ongoing training for staff and board members on systems of oppression

Language for a vision of an equitable sport:

  • We could be the sport that charters a new path. We could grow intentionally and equitably, increasing access to players from all class, race, and gender backgrounds.
  • We could be the sport that becomes known for prioritizing women’s voices in leadership and decision making.
  • We could be the sport that refuses the mainstream path of highlighting the men’s game in order to gain ‘legitimacy.’
  • Instead of using other sports as a yardstick for how well we are doing on social issues (i.e. but, we’re doing better than ____), let’s live up to our highest ideals.
  • If we say that diversity and equity are values of our community, let’s be accountable to those values.

 

We could be a brave, values-based sport — and working with the community, USA Ultimate can lead the way.

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  • ottopivnr

    The very best parts of this article are at the end, the Demands and Language for a vision. They succinctly lay out the position of the GEAG and should be the first thing the reader sees. For my part, i would have rather read an essay on the role of the upcoming town halls, and the position that the GEAG takes regarding the issues at hand, rather than be spoon-fed questions. I’m certain that the GEAG will be well represented at these events, and can ask the above questions themselves.

  • McKean

    I think ottopivnr makes a good point. When engaging constituents about a strategic plan, I suspect the format will be less about asking questions of USAU and more about gathering the opinions and desires of the community. I’d encourage attendees to advocate for what they want in the future plan. Regretfully, I am unable to attend these meetings and look forward to what comes out if them.

  • Trent Simmons

    I think there better question than this one on the socio-economic front.

    Are there any plans through the Foundation to make YCCs, Regionals, and memberships more financially accessible to youth players?

    Are there any plans through the Foundation to do broad scale outreach in inner city areas, with a focus on general youth Ultimate development, rather than the current focus on competitive youth development?

    Potential follow up question:
    Does the fact that most inner city youth will be unlikely to become regular dues paying members have any impact on USAU’s outreach plans? From a pure business perspective, it would make sense to focus on a demographic most likely to increase your future membership base; is that an issue that comes up in board meetings?

    Another good question might be:

    We frequently hear “best practices from other sports” cited as the rationale for decisions which are unpopular with significant portions of the membership base. Have any other sports or the Olympic Committee cited any USAU policies as “best practice” for other sports to emulate?