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Resource Team Spotlight: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

12/23/2020, 6:45am CST
By Nicole Jomantas

This year marks the launch of USA Fencing’s first-ever Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Resource Team. After receiving more than 60 applications, 10 individuals from within the fencing community were chosen by the USA Fencing Board of Directors to sit on the DEIB Resource Team for the 2020-21 season.

The resource team’s mission is to provide meaningful leadership and support to expand the number of enriching opportunities and increase feelings of inclusion and belonging experienced by those holding traditionally marginalized identities who are also members of the USA Fencing community. The DEIB Resource Team will execute this objective through not only programs and campaigns, but also by recommending strategies, policies and practices to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion across all programs and initiatives within the USA Fencing community.

The DEIB Resource Team’s goals include:

  • Creating space to facilitate honest dialogue around the challenges of identity and difference in the sport.
  • Recommending strategies, based on data and member feedback, to increase opportunities for and improve the experience of diverse members of the USA Fencing community.
  • Identifying educational and training programs that offer opportunities to deepen and improve understanding and integration of best practices to deploy across USA Fencing communities.
  • Recommending and supporting strategies designed to increase the recruitment of underrepresented populations into the sport of fencing.

Individuals serving on the DEIB Resource Team include:

  • Ephiphany Georges (Brooklyn, N.Y. / Peter Westbrook Foundation), 2008 Cadet World Team member and HR generalist at Compass
  • Terry Hayes (Fort Myers, Fla. / Southwest Florida Fencing Academy), 2019 Wheelchair World Team member and 2021 Paralympic Games hopeful
  • Race Imboden (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 2016 Olympic team bronze medalist and ambassador for Everytown for Gun Safety
  • Joe Leonard (Washington, D.C. / Nazlymov Fencing Foundation), chief of staff to the senior advisor to the mayor of Washington D.C. and former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus
  • Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn. / New York Athletic Club), 2018 World Team Champion and ambassador for Athlete Ally and The Women’s Sports Foundation
  • Nzingha Prescod (Brooklyn, N.Y. / Peter Westbrook Foundation), two-time Olympian and 2018 Senior World Team Champion
  • Konate Primus (Atlanta, Ga. / Nellya Fencers), Nellya Fencers coach and former World Cup circuit competitor
  • Richard Torres (Roselle, N.J. / V Fencing Club), senior attorney at Goodwin Procter and co-founder of the firm’s Sports Incubator
  • Dawn Wilson (Louisville, Ky. / Louisville Fencing Center), chair of the Louisville Division of USA Fencing and two-time Veteran World Team member

Liaisons to the DEIB Resource Team include:

  • Staff Liaison: Brandon Dyett (Colorado Springs, Colo.), senior manager of culture, sports performance and marketing
  • Referees Commission Liaison: Tasha Poissant (Portland, Ore.), 1998 Senior World Team member
  • Board Liaison: Daria Schneider (Brookline, Mass.), two-time Senior World medalist

Members of the DEIB Resource Team will hold their positions through Sept. 1, 2021. Applications for all committees and resource teams will be accepted during the summer of 2021 for the 2021-22 season.

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