6/23/2020 DEI Committee Mtg Minutes



Meeting Notes:

Thank you to Liz Tuppen for mobilizing the CRCA and creating this committee!

First order of business – Creation of Strategic Plan to be as effective as possible.

  • Liz Tuppen created a basic table with the addition of subcommittee tabs to tackle this project:
  • With regard to subcommittees, we can add/change them as needed –
  • Alyssa O’Donnell addressed creating an action item of community outreach as a first step – looking in our local communities for programs that work with youth of color. Doing that kind of research about our communities & creating partnerships.

As an entity the CRCA has historically been fairly separate from other rowing organizations, but we can work to build that.

In looking at the USRowing response, while their original response was lacking, they are really pushing a lot of important content right now around DE&I.

Goal is to have the strategic plan completed in one month.  Once we have that plan, we should be thinking about sponsorship – knowing that there are probably a fair number of companies that might jump at the opportunity to support these initiatives.

  • Work with Jamie Francis on CRCA Board who is working to grow CRCA sponsorship beyond just Pocock.

Open recommendations:

Carol Schoenecker recommended that committees really need to be sure to tackle policies (presence in schools and eligibility of potential student-athletes)

Alex Urbanik recommended exploring the alternatives to the identification of PSAs (UK No Erg)

Luke McGee reached out to UK Sport on just this topic.

  • How can we make the recruiting process accessible and equitable.
  • Using the ergbike could be a great alternative
  • Talked with C2 about creating potential testing areas/trails of the ErgBike
  • Reached out to USRowing – can we look to create a national standard – lose one barrier and identify more future rowing athletes
  • Have to think about compliance issues – how can we administer as coaches? (considered a tryout?)

At the NCAA level – could be a legislative issue around exclusionary procedure – can we look to a potential legislative change?

  • Also look in your area for mentorship programs at your institution already – for PSAs as well as parents

Glenn Putyrae put forward the idea of reaching out to Erg Ed re: their programming

  • It requires a fair amount of existing infrastructure as well as $.

Erg Ed information


Heather Alschuler at the Pocock Foundation runs the program. heather@pocockfoundation.org

  • Parks & Recreation programs in communities may also be looking for partnerships/looking for programming.

Alex Urbanik – with regard to USRowing we want to make sure we are not duplicating efforts, and we could strengthen with our collective power.

Malcolm Doldron (on this committee) has also been asked to serve on the newly forming USRowing DE&I Committee.

  • Continuity and collaboration will be important.
  • Streamlining with USRowing – the relationship/conduit of communication with all partners

Charley Sullivan promoted the effort of USRowing in recognizing Pride Month.

6/25 @ 7pm USRowing Pride event webinar.

  • Chris Chase and Brett Sickler are doing a lot of work on these initiatives.
  • Really the first time that USRowing is engaging in any of these topics
  • Accessibility via zoom has been a significant factor.

As coaches, we have to use our voices and platforms when we can.

Additional online webinar/education resources:

Liz is working on Coaches Panel Discussion on racism moderated by RISE (www.risetowin.org). Date is TBD, but looking to hold this discussion the week of July 6th around 1:00pm EST.

  • 5-7 Coaches discussing their core values and the importance of viewing through an anti-racist lens, identifying ways to make change and the support/lack of that they are receiving from their administrators.

On Wednesday,, July 1st 1:00-3:00pm EST: CRCA Webinar on antiracism with Jen Fry (www.jenfrytalks.com).  Registration is capped at 175 (as of 6/22/20, 77 members had registered).  REGISTER HERE:  https://forms.gle/UFcfBqEuuvEFFD226

Liz is proposing a DEI Committee retreat before the start of the academic year, to insure that we can solidify and identify all of our objectives.

Ideally, subcommittees start meeting soon.

Malcolm Doldron – If rowing is serious about making a change in the status quo, we have to be willing to speak out & act in uncomfortable ways.  We have to stand up and not tolerate that status quo.

Ashley Pryor – we need to make sure we are using direct language, this is not a “diversity” statement, it needs to be an Anti-racist statement and we need to be comfortable using that direct language.

  • We need to view this as it is – it will need to be a long-term transformation
  • We need to be specific and exact in our mission.

Liz creating email lists for each group, and asked that folks willing to be committee heads to work on scheduling and start planning.

Liz also recommended that the full committee meet 1x month.

Steve Harris reminded everyone that as we have these conversations, it will get easier and while we may not exactly change every mind, we need to demonstrate the change we want to see.

Ashley Pryor – 

  • In creating safe spaces, it is important to empower the people of color that are a part of our programs.
  • We need to ask the questions of each other and create networks, we have to learn about safe spaces, take feedback, understand history and context.  We have to let our student-athletes of color challenge us in respectful ways.
  • “People know if you have an authentic heart”