The Importance of Uncomfortable Conversations: the commitment to being anti-racist in the snow sports community and industry
Though we, as skiers and riders, may be bummed to not be getting the usual amount of our off-season fix of snow-related content, this is an important time for us to take a step back and examine our privilege to be able to partake in these activities we love. In addition to the severity of COVID-19, the racial unrest sparked by police brutality and the horrendous murder of George Floyd have challenged our sense of normalcy, which we must use to progress – especially in this predominantly white community and industry. There have been a number of really great articles circulating the ski and snowboard community that we at NoseButtr strongly encourage you to read, share, and use as a tool to think critically and learn from. A few weeks back, Garry Schlag shared on Instagram his perspective as a Person of Color and skier for almost his entire life. Ski Magazine also published a well-versed article focused on the elitism and exclusivity of the snow community that stems from the language used within it. Whitelines Snowboarding put out a piece giving the snowboard community two options in regard to the issue of race within it – either be part of the problem or be part of the solution. As they previously had after publishing a similar article back in April, they received quite a bit of backlash which they responded to on Instagram with a short and sweet post. I can’t think of any company or platform in the industry that hasn’t made a number of posts at this point, and a few have publicly announced some sizable donations to various BIPOC foundations – Burton, NorthFace, Slash Snowboards just to name a few. Of course, these monetary donations and vocal commitments to inclusion and diversity are awesome, but the changes in our incredible community must start with uncomfortable conversations amongst our peers. #BlackLivesMatter
Below is a list of foundations and organizations with the goal of fostering more diversity in snowboarding. If you don’t know of them already, check out the awesome things they do.