Out of Uncertainty, Real Change Will Come
Friday, June 19, 2020
Written by Team Schweitzer
We’re sure we are not alone when we say the last few months have been a whirlwind … months that could not have been conjured even in our worst nightmares.
From a global pandemic that put our beloved sport (and the rest of the world) on hold; to the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and now Rayshard Brooks; to the protests that followed around the world and in our own community - it is an unsettling and uncertain time to be alive.
Hopefully, out of this uncertainty will come real change.
As we reflect on today’s date, June 19th - Juneteenth - the oldest celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the US, we can’t help but speak out. Over the last couple of weeks, Schweitzer has been chastised by some for our silence on the topic and told to “stick to skiing” by others. In a community and state that is often polarized by its views, we feel it is important, and it is our responsibility to stand up for what we believe. We also recognize that speaking out is one thing - a fairly easy first step - but acting on those beliefs is, in the end, what matters.
We believe in sharing the outdoors with everyone. We believe there is no place for racism, discrimination, or hate of any kind at Schweitzer - in our work place, in our community, or in the outdoors. We believe in and want to create an open, accepting community that focuses on love, not hate.
But the fact of the matter is our sport, outdoor sports in general and our region of the country are some of the “whitest” out there.
According to the latest numbers just released by the National Ski Areas Association, participation in winter sports during the 2019-2020 season was made up of 88.2% Caucasian, 7.2% Asian, 5.8% Latino, 1.8% African American, and 2.9% other. Unfortunately, those numbers haven’t fluctuated much in the last decade.
These are challenging times and our society is faced with challenging questions. We don’t claim to have answers to those questions, but they are questions we strive to understand.
We will continue to listen. We will continue to learn. We will look for ways to make an impact and continue in our efforts to make the outdoors accessible to as many people as possible.
We can only begin to move forward by choosing to open our hearts and open our minds - open them to love and inclusion, not hate.
We hope you will join us and choose to open your hearts and minds, as we navigate these rough waters together.