Inclusion for All
PSIA-AASI stands for inclusion and against discrimination. As an education organization for ski and snowboard instructors, we can and will do more to educate on the topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion within our sphere of influence. Continuing to have frank, open, and honest conversations with one another inside and outside of our organization is a start, but it can’t end with words alone. Together, we will take action to foster a culture that respects, supports, and welcomes communities of color and other marginalized groups that are underrepresented within the snowsports industry.
Together, when we commit to advancing our personal awareness on these topics, we commit to driving organizational awareness and unity – within our leadership team and beyond – through education. We know action means change. Please review the below information and take part in that change.
View PSIA-AASI’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (PDF).
PSIA-AASI values lifelong adventures through education for all. To live our values, inclusion must be inherent in our culture; demonstrated through our Learning Connection℠ model and by our respect and support for each other, our students, and all whose lives can be enriched through snowsports. PSIA-AASI recognizes that opportunity, representation, acceptance, and access are not always distributed equitably throughout our organization or the snowsports industry as a whole. Whether intentional or not, the impact of exclusion is real.
Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC); the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ+) community; and other marginalized groups face barriers and conscious and unconscious bias in the snowsports industry. Some confront passive or active discrimination as students or leaders, in the snowsports school locker room, and on the slopes. This is, to some degree, because of the historically exclusive tradition of snowsports, pervasive discrimination and inequality in our nation, and our own organization’s missed opportunities to challenge the status quo. The PSIA-AASI community is not as representative, equitable, inclusive, or just as it could – and should – be. As educators, we cannot condone systems that privilege some over others and exclude individuals based on their race or identity. To create a culture of belonging that welcomes all, we acknowledge and embrace our responsibility to effect positive change within our sphere of influence.
For PSIA-AASI as an organization, an employer, and a leader in the snowsports industry, it is imperative that we lead the way in fostering a safe, joyful, and accessible mountain environment. We commit to addressing barriers to access, inclusion, and leadership. We understand that when we address the needs of those who have historically been excluded, we positively impact everyone.
We will ensure that training, mentorship, guidance, and professional development are available to all – inclusive of age; ability; disability; socioeconomic status; ethnic origin; nationality; and racial, religious, social, sexual, or gender identity. Our path forward includes education, representation, partnership, and advocacy.
PSIA-AASI pledges to take diligent, sustainable, and continuous action to promote an inclusive and equitable snowsports community that provides opportunity to all members. We invite all stakeholders to hold us accountable and push us ahead.
- Created a Equity and Inclusion Advisory Group.
- Hosted a three-part, interactive DEI webinar series for a group of more than 280 people, including national and division board members, PSIA-AASI National Team members, national task forces, and staff. Review the group invitation about this training.
- Held a listening session comprised of a racially, ethnically, and generationally diverse group of PSIA-AASI members regarding equity, created this PSIA-AASI Membership Listening Summary Report of findings, themes, observations, and resulting suggestions and shared this report in its entirety with the PSIA-AASI community.
- Worked with a research firm to survey female members about their experiences within PSIA-AASI and the larger snowsports industry. PSIA-AASI’s Women’s Initiative Task Force extracted the key findings and presented them in this Women Belong on the Mountain report.
- Partnered with Women of Winter to host instructor training and certification events for Black, Indigenous, Women of Color that will encourage and support Women of Color to pursue opportunities to teach skiing or snowboarding.
- Entered into a two-year agreement to support National Brotherhood of Skiers (NBS) instructors with assessment funding as they pursue their PSIA-AASI Level I certification (16 in the 2022-23 season, and 16 in the 2023-24 season).
- Established the Russell Fleming Memorial Scholarship for Racial Diversity in Snowsports Education. This was a cause promoted by Russell for many years before his untimely death in the spring of 2019. Five scholarships are available to members of color to attend professional development events or exams in the Eastern Region.
- Expanding PSIA-AASI’s Equity and Inclusion Advisory Group as a permanent equity team, which is empowered to advise leadership on matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and, importantly, recognize their work.
- Working in conjunction with PSIA-AASI’s divisions to establish an official procedure to recruit board members and other association leaders who reflect greater diversity.
- Set diversity targets for leadership boards.
- Seed pools and apply “Rooney Rules 2.0” for consistency and equity.
- Named for former Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, the Rooney Rule refers to a National Football League policy – established in 2003 – that requires league teams to interview non-white candidates for leadership positions. 2.0 refers to updates to the rule, including requirements and documentation of a consistent process by which all candidates partake equally.
- Ask diversity-oriented question/s when interviewing.
- Offer diversity training/workshops for new leadership members.
- Developing a marketing/communication strategy with an inclusion lens, to be more authentically representative while avoiding tokenism.
- Collecting data on PSIA-AASI’s membership data and performing regular equity audits to find ways to dismantle the inequities.
- Taking into account the “Observations and Takeaways” section of the PSIA-AASI Membership Listening Summary Report, which represent a wealth of ideas to examine and consider; for example, how will PSIA-AASI positively shape the snowsports industry narrative as the country prepares for a population and demographic shift?
- Setting the Stage for Our Next Generation of Leaders – Letter from Nicholas Herrin, PSIA-AASI CEO (May 2022)
- Women of Winter & PSIA-AASI Set the Stage for the Next Generation of Leaders – Video
- “Cert Events for Women of Color Help Break Down Barriers” – 32 Degrees magazine (Fall 2022)
- “Creating an Inclusive Culture at Your Organization, Part Two” – Webinar
- DEI in Snowsports (Articles / Resources)
- “DEI Training Provides Invaluable Perspective” – 32 Degrees magazine (Spring 2021)
- Free Inclusion Training from Snowsports Industries America (SIA)
- “How Inclusion Helps Us Build Stronger Relationships” – 32 Degrees magazine (Fall 2020)
- Inclusive Playbook from Move United
- “Meet Me in the Mountains: How to Support an Environment of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” – Webpost by DEI Task Force member Sheria Rosenthal
- “EDGE Outdoors Welcomes New Generation of Historically Marginalized Skiers & Riders” – 32 Degrees (Fall 2021)
- “PSIA-AASI Creates Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force” – Webpost
- “Snowsports are For Everyone – Let’s Make Sure Everyone Feels Welcome” – 32 Degrees (Winter 2021)
- PSIA-AASI Membership Listening Summary Report
- “Race, Space, and Place” – 32 Degrees (Spring 2021)
- “The Evolution of Snowsports Education – A Continued Commitment to Instructor Growth and Excellence” – 32 Degrees (Spring 2021)
- SIA Town Hall Series on Inclusion, Recap & Free Webinars
- “We Are Part of the Problem” – Podcast from Epic by Nature
- Women Belong on the Mountain Report
If you have questions or are interested in learning more, please fill out this form.
Learn about other organizations taking action to build a more inclusive and welcoming snowsports community.