A lot has happened in the past few months, so we thought we’d give a quick update! With everything going on, and upon doing some self-reflecting, we’ve created a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee with chairperson Rachel Niu (firstname.lastname@example.org). Through the creation of this committee, we’ve started a few different projects. The first being our internal and external surveys concerning DEI in our club.
The purpose of our internal survey was to pin-point the areas we need improvement by asking questions about the structure and culture of our club to current team members. The surveys were completely anonymous and the results are currently in the process of being analyzed. We will be posting a survey report in the coming weeks. We plan to send out this type of internal survey each year, in order to track our progress towards becoming a more inclusive and welcoming space. The purpose of our external survey was to discover what factors deterred people from joining our team. Similarly, we hope to use the results from this survey to grow our club in future recruitment seasons. We will be analyzing and compiling a survey report for the external survey results once we’ve finished the internal survey report.
One of our bigger projects is the creation of our outreach program, Row Together, aimed at reducing barriers to the sport of rowing for local high school students in populations that have traditionally been blocked from opportunities. This 10-week program would take place on the weekends and introduce the participants to rowing, water safety skills, academic opportunities at CMU, as well as a mentoring program for academic and athletic success. CMURC will be partnering with other clubs and organizations on campus and among the Pittsburgh community to help build a supportive community. This program will pilot in Spring 2022. You can find more information about the program on our Row Together page.
Lastly, we have made tentative plans to engage in Real Talk with Richard Butler at the start of the spring semester. Richard Butler has been an incredibly influential and important figure in our organization and actions as a DEI Committee. He is a chairperson on the USRowing DE&I Committee and works with Three Rivers Rowing Association. Real Talk is a conversation proctored by Richard to bring various clubs and groups to help facilitate the uncomfortable discussion of racism in rowing and how our team can reflect upon ourselves to enact change. We are looking forward to this conversation and will post more updates with the specific dates in the future!