skip navigation

USA Fencing is Proud to Announce the 2024 DEIB Award Winners

04/04/2024, 10:00am CDT
By Nicole Kirk

Unveil the champions of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in fencing with the 2024 DEIB Awards.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Fencing is proud to announce the 2024 DEIB Award winners. Join us in honoring the visionary leaders who are revolutionizing the landscape of our sport. Prepare to be inspired by their unwavering commitment to forging a more inclusive and equitable fencing community!

This year’s winners include the Kern Athletic Fencing Foundation, Northwest Fencing Center, Valkryie Fencing Club, and Bronzeville Fencing Academy. 

Shannon Jolly, USA Fencing’s Senior Manager for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, said “Congratulations to all of this year's DEIB Award winners. They are all doing the important work in their communities to help grow the sport of fencing with an emphasis of members from underrepresented groups. It is my hope that they serve as an example for the rest of the fencing community to expand access to the sport.”

Leszek "Maestro" Stawicki Parafencing Athlete Development Award:

Kern Athletic Fencing Foundation

Kern supports para fencing in their local community and in the neighboring areas. The club has sent para fencers to NACs, covering all associated costs and expenses, including equipment. The club actively promotes their free programs that they offer.

Kern provides free fencing lessons to youth with cognitive challenges and athletes with physical disabilities (Para fencing}.

Mariel Zagunis Women’s Advancement Award

Northwest Fencing Center

NWFC is the founder of The Athena Project, celebrating women in fencing. The first camp was in Dec 2023 and it was very successful. The next camp is scheduled for Aug 2024. This project is to promote women in coaching and to grow the general population with empowerment and knowledge in a women only space for 7 days. It's the first of it's kind, it's nothing short of amazing.

We proudly have flags from around the world displayed along with our logo in a pride style. The pride logo is prominent around the club and on t-shirts. The staff is diverse and we encourage participation in traditional celebrations and club activities. The club also offers a weekly class at a local high school for free. In addition, generous scholarships are awarded for classes, private lessons and equipment is provided to those in need.


Valkyrie Fencing Club

Valkyrie partners with the Utah Fencing Foundation and their affiliation with Neurowerx to present fencing as both a rehabilitative activity and as a lifestyle. The club supports its para athletes with a rate for participation that is 60% reduced and includes personal lessons, access to fencing gear and free armory services.

The club actively promotes parafencing in cooperation with the Utah Fencing Foundation and Neuroworx. Valkyrie supports athletes of all gender identities, ethnic backgrounds, mobility ranges and under-represented communities.

Peter Westbrook Trailblazer Award

Bronzeville Fencing Academy

The Academy targets its recruitment efforts towards youth located in largely under-resourced, and marginalized communities in the Chicagoland area. Operations staff outreaches to the schools and/or park administration, to present the Academy’s program and its successes in producing positive outcomes for students.

The Academy partners with corporate stakeholders and service organizations focused exclusively on closing the achievement gap; providing programming and mentorship, to support the youth in and out of the classroom to develop their social and emotional intelligence; leadership qualities; supporting culturally relevant and responsive programming.

Bronzeville Fencing Academy (“Academy”), a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation, has served the Chicagoland area since 2016. The Academy serves over 400 youth annually through a broad continuum of wraparound programming responsive to the demographics of the community.

The Academy's Parent Advisory Council (“PAC”), advocates for and is responsible for the delivery of the Academy’s series of educational and exploratory STEM Sessions, Workforce Webinars, and Tutoring.

Tag(s): Updates