Ski Vermont and its member ski areas recognize the inequity faced by historically marginalized communities navigating racial, physical, social, and systemic barriers. Though skiing and snowboarding (snow sports) continue to face challenges regarding diversity of participation and inclusivity, we are committed to recognizing, understanding, and addressing barriers that limit access to and enjoyment of snow sports.
We urge skiers and riders to familiarize themselves with ways to recognize biases—personal or systemic—as well as support the efforts of those challenging the barriers those biases create. Through dialogue, empathy, reflection, and action in addressing these issues we continue to work toward the goal of empowering all people equal access to a lifetime of sliding on snow.
Now in its sixth year, the Ski Vermont Diversity Initiative identifies and supports ways that Vermont's ski industry can be more welcoming and more accommodating to a more 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 continue to make strides by holding regular round table discussions. Ski Vermont has also made a concerted effort to invite a range of visitors—from underserved communities, international visitors, and complete newcomers to the sport—to Vermont ski areas in an effort to keep listening, learning, and working to understand the perspectives and lived experience of all visiting skiers and riders. We aim to share snow 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 throughout the industry. Discussions have given rise to action in the form of policy changes, events and programs aimed at actively encouraging and supporting participation in snowsports by anyone experiencing barriers to the sport, whether racial, physical, social or systemic. We've got a long way to go, but we're moving in the right direction.
Ski Vermont's Diversity Initiative is conducted on behalf of its 50 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:
Magic Mountain (scroll down to June 3 entry entitled "Soul")
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.
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.