Our Commitment to Diversity, One Year Later

01 | Jul | '21
Maggie Roe

It’s been over a year since individuals and organizations were propelled into action to play an active role in combating social injustice. Like other organizations, Evergreen set out to face the inequities and injustices within our own community and the outdoor industry. Yvonne, our Executive Director, wrote a personal statement where she highlighted the importance of inclusivity and diversity in the outdoors, and vowed that Evergreen would shift its priorities to better serve ALL of our community.

We’re only just beginning a lifetime of work to promote equity and inclusion within mountain biking, but so far we are proud of our progress. We’ve taken time to refocus some of our work over the past year and we’re ready to update you on the status of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives.

July to December 2020: Reflection, Listening, and Community Building

Last summer, we gathered Evergreen’s first ever Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee; a statewide group representing a diversity of riders; committed to guiding Evergreen in developing a vision for a more inclusive and welcoming community. Initial committee meetings consisted of open discussions about barriers within the sport and what Evergreen’s role should be in creating change. The year closed with DEI-related additions to Evergreen’s next strategic vision and 2021 budget and workplan. Additionally, our end of year campaign kicked off with a bang raising ~$10,000 from our community for some of the proposed DEI goals.

January 2021 and Beyond: Learning and [slowly] Progressing

The new year began with financial resources and a huge list of goals but tight timelines to reach them. We had the energy and vision ready to go, but soon realized that we lacked the necessary foundations to move forward successfully. We want to be intentional and informed before taking action. We need to first slow down, step back, and start with square one: education.

Evergreen staff are at varied stages in our anti-racist journies and to be most effective in our work, realized we needed to lay some grounding foundations. With an ultimate goal of better understanding and serving our community, the Evergreen administrative staff began working through a training program called “To Be Welcoming”; an online education platform for learning about and recognizing our own biases. It’s given us a space to have internal conversations on topics like race, gender, privilege and more.

While we work on our own personal journeys, Evergreen staff and DEI committee are also making progress in other areas.

Marketing & Communications

  • Hosted a virtual movie night that showcased women adventurer riders. We raised over $1k and had about 270 people in attendance! The high level of attendee engagement helped us realize how much our community is craving stories outside the standard narrative
  • Implemented an optional new signature format for our emails that includes gender pronouns

Trail Access

  • Developed the foundation for piloting a signage project at Duthie to connect new riders to resources like trail information, equipment, etiquette with other users, and more!
  • Hosted a work party and 2 ride days with Outdoors for All to discuss and implement trail updates for adaptive mtb access and plan for education opportunities

Operations

  • Updated recruitment materials for staff and volunteers to include more inclusive language
  • Launched anti-bias and cultural competency training for staff and volunteers
  • Finalized our 2021 work plan with DEI goals and metrics for success incorporated throughout all programs and teams
  • Hosted a tribal treaty rights training for staff
  • Outreach to local tribes on project planning implications
  • In Q3, we plan to hire a consultant to support us in engaging staff, volunteers and board members in a long-term plan to operationalize equity

Education

  • Awarded over $8,000 in scholarships for education classes and camps across the state
  • Hosted our first ever spanish speaking mountain bike class in Wenatchee with more planned for this year!
  • Secured additional funding to support an intro to mountain biking series in South King County for youth in the foster and department of public defense system, and Wenatchee for low income elementary students

We acknowledge that for many, the unfortunate reality is that mountain biking remains completely out of reach. We can’t deny the persistent social, cultural, systemic, institutional, financial, and physical barriers of our sport. Evergreen is dedicated to the ongoing journey of recognizing how we’ve played a role in reproducing those barriers. More than that, we are committed to the reduction of barriers that are within our control and influence, so that we can help make mountain biking more accessible. We hope that you’ll join us in our continued efforts, as we keep listening, learning, and removing barriers to the sport we all love!