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USA Climbing Announces Appointment of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force

USA Climbing Announces Appointment of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force


USA Climbing is excited to announce that today its Board of Directors (the “Board”) appointed the members of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force (the “DEITF”). The purpose of the Task Force is to make recommendations to the Board and Staff on how to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the membership, operation, and leadership of USA Climbing.

“I would like to thank all who expressed an interest in serving on this important task force, it shows a deep commitment to USA Climbing and the sport” said Marc Norman, USA Climbing CEO. “I look forward to working with the task force members in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within our community and specifically commend Jesse Grupper and Kyra Condie, athlete representatives on USA Climbing Board of Directors for their role in bringing this to the forefront.”

"We intend for USA Climbing to reflect diversity, equity & inclusiveness as core values within our organization and community and are committed to making these values a shared reality" said Patti Rube, President of the Board of Directors. “We are thankful for the commitment of the Task Force and its members and are eager to support their efforts.”

The DEITF was appointed after an extensive process that started in April by soliciting resumes from interested candidates and followed by interviews with the USA Climbing Nominating and Governance Committee (the “NGC”) in conjunction with DEI Consultant D.A. Abrams, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer of the Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Group, as directed by the Board of Directors. Mr. Abrams said, “USA Climbing has demonstrated their commitment to leveraging Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the benefit of the sport via the establishment of this extremely well rounded, talented, passionate, and dedicated group of volunteers.” 

The NGC’s proposed slate was presented to the Board of Directors at their July meeting and unanimously approved. The Board appointed Melanie Zurek, Ed.M. of Boston, Massachusetts to be the Interim Chair until the full DEITF recommends to the Board either Zurek, or a different Task Force member to be a longer-term Chair. Zurek has extensive experience in leading DEITF efforts in her profession and has the full confidence of the Board to lead the Task Force in their initial organizational efforts.

The DEITF is comprised of Zurek and 10 other members, including three athletes as defined by Section 11.2 of USAC’s Bylaws, which can be accessed HERE.

The DEITF members are,

Taimur Ahmad
Kareemah Batts
Joslyne Decker
Malcom Mel Godowski
Jonathan Hawk
Constance (“Connie”) Lightner
Austin Lin
Meagan Martin
Meghan McDonald
Stephanie Ko Pound
Melanie Zurek.

USA Climbing Commitment to Diversity: USA Climbing encourages all to participate. Members of the Board, committees, working groups, and task forces are generally selected without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity, although in this case, given the mission of the DEITF, the NGC and Board considered favorably all applicants’ identification as falling within a group underrepresented in membership, operation, or leadership of USA Climbing. USA Climbing is committed to providing equal opportunity to amateur athletes, coaches, trainers, managers, administrators, and officials to participate in climbing competitions without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, or national origin. Diversity at all levels of USA Climbing is desirable, including among the membership of the Board, Committees, Task Forces and Working Groups, and among its athletes. Open discussion and the presentation of a diversity of views is encouraged.

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