SkiVT Press Room/

Vermont Ski Areas Committed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Young skiers wait to take a lesson at Sir Henry's Learning Hill at Smugglers' Notch Resort. (Photo courtesy Brian Mohr/Ember Photo)
Alicia Shepard of the Nubian Empire Ski Club is all smiles during a ski lesson at Bromley Mountain. (Photo by Rob English for Ski Vermont)
The Nubian Empire Ski Club out of Albany, NY, poses during a visit to Bromley Mountain. (Photo by Rob England for Ski Vermont)

Skiing Can Bring Us Together

The wave of protests against racial injustice and inequality across our country and around the world have made it clearer than ever that if we say “we are not part of the problem,” we are, actually, part of the problem. That awareness is the first step and finding some common ground is a good place to start. Skiing is a social sport that brings people together, but it’s no secret that neither our state nor our sport are very diverse.

Now in its third year, the Ski Vermont Diversity Initiative identifies and explores ways that Vermont's ski industry can be more welcoming and more accommodating to a diverse audience. It began by bringing people to the table, literally - see this Nubian Empire Ski Club feature from the 2020 edition of Ski Vermont Magazine. People want to be inclusive but may not know the best way to achieve that or have confidence in what they are doing. The industry's interest in listening, talking and learning was heartening and a wonderful first step, and we need to keep listening, talking, learning, and sharing the sports, mountains and state we love with the broadest possible spectrum of people. 

That dialog has continued at the state, regional and national levels, and has grown to include not only our member ski areas but also representatives from throughout the industry. It hasn't been all talk, either - our discussions have given rise to action in the form of policy changes, events and programs aimed at actively encouraging and supporting participation in our sport by Black skiers and riders. We've got a long way to go, but we're moving in the right direction.

Ski Vermont and its member ski areas stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and all BIPOC people on the issue of racial equality and civil rights. Though skiing and snowboarding face challenges regarding diversity of participation and inclusivity, we are committed to recognizing, understanding, and addressing factors that limit access to and enjoyment of our sport for everyone. We urge skiers and riders to educate themselves on ways to help bring about the end of racism and prejudice, not only within our sport and its culture, but everywhere. We encourage you to listen, empathize, reflect, and take action – not only for the sake of those victimized by centuries of inequality and oppression, but for the betterment of our society and humankind as a whole.

Ski Vermont's Diversity Initiative is conducted on behalf of its 48 member ski areas, many of which have also made their own statements and have individual efforts ongoing to promote inclusion and participation. Some of those include:

Bromley Mountain:
https://www.bromley.com/the-mountain/media/press-releases/fairbank-group-regarding-black-lives-matter/

Craftsbury Nordic Center:
https://www.craftsbury.com/news/black-lives-matter

Killington Resort and Pico Mountain: 
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdWLfv7x4GIIsHItnnPR2x0rmCm4Yc6Qh933t03arynJBkZUA/viewform?fbclid=IwAR1XaqKxDW-GJNsqwWJH-qEieApnHmNzFqIQ33OTj2bC-yN_vDwuLlaRySw 
(feedback form promoted and linked via social media: https://www.instagram.com/p/CC8sj3wlc39/)

Magic Mountain:
http://magicmtn.com/alpine-update/ (scroll down to June 3 entry entitled "Soul")

Smugglers' Notch Resort:
https://www.smuggs.com/racialequity

Stratton Mountain Resort:
https://www.stratton.com/the-mountain/diversity-equity-and-inclusion

Sugarbush Resort:
https://www.sugarbush.com/sustainability/diversity-mission/

Suicide Six Ski Area / The Woodstock Inn:
https://www.suicide6.com/outdoors-for-all

Vail Resorts, parent company of Stowe Mountain Resort, Okemo Mountain Resort and Mount Snow Resort:
http://news.vailresorts.com/corporate/letter-from-vail-resorts-ceo-we-are-part-problem.htm

Other Resources

National Brotherhood of Skiers - The NBS was chartered in 1974. Today, the organization has grown to 55 clubs representing 43 cities and a membership of 3,500.  The NBS is recognized by the ski industry as one of the largest ski organizations and its Summit as the largest gathering of skiers and riders, more than any other ski convention in the United States. http://www.nbs.org

Black Travel Alliance - The BTA is a group of Black travel content creators from across the globe. The group's three pillars of the community are alliance, amplification, and accountability. Its aim is to provide training and business support to its members, as well as hold destinations and travel brands accountable on the issue of diversity in travel marketing and storytelling. https://www.blacktravelalliance.com/

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