Letter to SDB Community
This letter to the SDB League was sent on behalf of Old Lady McGrady on March 31, 2021 (Please note the web version of this letter removes the now expired survey link as well as email addresses to help reduce spam and phishing attempts)
Hello SDB community!
Old Lady McGrady here! I miss seeing you all on a regular basis, and I miss derby. A lot. I hope everyone is doing okay.
As you may have read in a previous newsletter, I am currently serving as the Interim Equity and Social Justice (ESJ) Lead for SDB. The ESJ committee has been meeting (virtually!) during the pandemic with a focus on learning how to build a culture of allyship, race equity, and social justice. We want to communicate our commitment to equity and outline our plans for being an anti-racist organization.
To make progress, we first need to understand where SDB stands as an organization with regard to race, social justice, and equity. This is where we need your help. I’d like the entire league — skaters, coaches, refs, NSOs, parents, volunteers — to participate in a league-wide equity and social justice / demographic survey. Taking our survey is completely voluntary but your participation will help us establish a baseline that will inform the work that SDB must undertake. Everyone’s opinions matter, so be sure your skaters take it too.
Being anti-racist results from a conscious decision to make frequent, consistent, equitable choices every day. These choices require ongoing self-awareness and self-reflection as we move through life. In the absence of making anti-racist choices, we (un)consciously uphold aspects of white supremacy, white-dominant culture, and unequal institutions/systems in our society. SDB is committed to building a culture of allyship, providing equity and social justice for all our skaters.
The ESJ committee has been working to create an anti-racist action plan for our league. Our action plan includes items from the open letter to WFTDA from Atlanta Roller Derby as well as a training plan for board members and volunteers. This will be an ongoing effort with iterative learning. While this survey will help us establish the baseline for all our equity work, the actions listed below deal specifically with our anti-racist work.
- Create a league wide survey to establish our league’s demographics and which areas need the most work. League members will be able to self identify in an optional survey. We ask skaters, coaches, volunteers, and parents to take the survey (survey link has been removed from this web version).
- Adopt a nondiscrimination policy that allows anyone to bring a concern or violation to the Advocacy Team (in which the ESJ lead is a member) which will take appropriate action. To bring a concern or violation to the Advocacy Team, email the Advocacy Team (email address has been removed from this web version) – see bottom of email for adopted policy language
- Establish transparent baseline policy standards and requirements, including recommended courses of action to address instances of racism or microaggressions (like when to educate vs. remove someone from the league).
- Require all officials, coaches, board members, and volunteers (including announcers) to participate in anti-bias training.
- Create an educational anti-racist curriculum for current league members. Update annually and deliver for all new members who join the league each season.
- Support an Equity and Social Justice (ESJ) committee, including financial support for anti-racist facilitators to educate our league.
- Implement a procedure to address instances of racism at games we host.
- Implement a system wherein visiting teams can report racism and microaggressions
- Implement a safe and anonymous system that allows anyone affiliated with the league to report microaggressions they experience. Develop a plan for addressing reported instances of racism and microaggression.
- Host freel “Brat Lab” drop-in practices in predominantly BIPOC communities and neighborhoods so girls and nonbinary kids can experience the joy of junior roller derby. (This is on hold during the pandemic.)
Additionally, the board has been and continues working with Equity in the Center for several trainings:
- Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture
- Intersectional Allyship for Racial Justice: A Workshop for White Allies (for board members who identify as white)
- Intersectional Allyship for Racial Justice: A Workshop for People of Color (OPTIONAL training for board members who identify as BIPOC)
I strongly encourage you to consider completing our survey by April 10 (and get your skater to complete it too!!!)
Thank you for reading til the end. It’s important. Tell your skaters I miss them and can’t wait to see them. Parents and guardians, I can’t wait to see you, either…but I know we’re all here for the skaters!
Much derby love,
Old Lady McGrady
P.S. Please reach out to me if you are interested in joining our ESJ Committee or if you have related feedback.
P.S.S. I am serving as Interim ESJ Lead, because I do not believe I should serve in this role for the long term. My goal is to start the necessary equity and social justice work for our league, and move it forward where someone feels comfortable, safe, and supported to take over leading this effort within SDB. I welcome feedback, concerns, and criticism.
SDB Non Discrimination Policy
ADOPTED by SDB Board of Directors on 8/19/2020
Seattle Derby Brats does not and will not discriminate on the basis of race; color; religion or belief; national, social or ethnic origin; immigration status; medical condition; age; ability; sexual orientation; gender identity and expression; marital, civil union or domestic partnership status; past or present military service; family or parental status; or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in Washington state. These activities include, but are not limited to, membership eligibility, disbursement of resources, and eligibility for volunteer positions. Seattle Derby Brats is committed to providing an anti racist, inclusive, and welcoming environment for all skaters, families, officials, volunteers, and fans.
Anyone can bring a policy violation or concern to the attention of the SDB Advocate Team. The Advocate Team, of which the Equity and Social Justice Lead is a member, takes all concerns seriously. The team will meet with all involved parties to understand the situation and take age appropriate actions.
SDB GENDER POLICY
Seattle Derby Brats’ mission is to empower girls through the sport of flat track roller derby, and Seattle Derby Brats skates in the female-only division for all sanctioned bouts. For travel team charters, SDB follows the same policies set forth by WFTDA and JRDA:
- WFTDA: “An individual who identifies as a trans woman, intersex woman, and/or gender expansive may skate with a WFTDA charter team if women’s flat track roller derby is the version and composition of roller derby with which they most closely identify.”
- JRDA: “The presence of a skater on a gender-specific charter is the only required evidence of that skater’s gender identity for JRDA play.”
If a currently active skater who joined the league while identifying as female comes out as transgender, that skater is welcome to continue skating with Seattle Derby Brats for as long as that skater feels comfortable skating on a female-only roster. When one of our transgender skaters feels that a co-ed league is a better fit, we will do our best to help assist the skater with a transfer to an alternative derby league.
Trans girls are girls. Placement of transgender skaters interested in joining Seattle Derby Brats is subject to the same league tryout or transfer requirements set forth for all skaters, and handled on a case-by-case basis by the SDB Board of Directors, with input from coaches as necessary. That said, if a skater identifies as female and is recognized by their family, school and/or community as a girl, SDB can serve her and strives to create a space that is safe, supportive and inclusive.