My name is Wendy Carey and I am the CFO of Seirus Innovation and honored to be the Chair of the Board of Directors of Snowsports Industries of America (SIA).
The latest events have given me pause not only to reflect on the state of affairs across the country, but also the industry that I have been a part of for the last 40+ years.
As a nation, we are on the brink of change – and we have a choice. Actually – more than a choice, we have a Responsibility and an Opportunity – to grow, to understand things we have failed to understand before, to become better, to show compassion and conviction through the Actions we choose.
A courageous few have stepped up in our communities and stood in front of us to say we can no longer ignore what is happening to people of color, black men in particular, in our society. We all have watched in horror as a team of policemen, who are supposed to be our protectors, brutally participated in the murder of a defenseless human being. This is just the latest of so many racist killings. This is wrong! As I write these words it seems incredulous that such a statement even needs to be made – this is wrong! When will it end?
How does this relate to our industry – a community of passionate and dedicated winter sports enthusiasts? We are so lucky and “privileged” to be working and playing in this space. You may recoil at the privilege label – but, no matter how you look at it, we ARE lucky to be part of this incredible community. But what are we doing to change the lack of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in our community? What are we doing to understand the experience of others who don’t feel welcome into our spaces? How willing are we to examine our own hearts and realize we can do more to create true justice in our community and our world? We are not perfect, none of us, but with committed open hearts we will be better. WE have the power to make change.
Why am I speaking up? Because an opportunity for dynamic change is here now. Because I have a profound intention to create a world of equity, opportunity and thriving for ALL. I recognize MY privilege and the responsibility that comes with that to activate change – to work against racism, to become more antiracist* in my actions, as well as, my intentions.
I hope the winter outdoor industry will join me. I challenge you to recognize your privilege and responsibility to create change. I challenge you to set the following intentions: to treat all others with respect and dignity; to proactively welcome others not like yourself into your/our environment; to have real open-hearted communications with others who think and experience life differently than us; to fully become antiracist. When we make an intentional choice to take responsibility and create action, only then can we really begin to make change and address inequality, racial injustice, and economic repression.
In the coming days, weeks and months, SIA will continue to support these critical conversations. These will come in many forms, with many collaborators and voices. Please listen, please participate, please open up and be part of the change. Our industry depends on it, our country depends on it.
*Ibram Kendi, a black man and an award-winning scholar defines the word racist as: “One who is supporting a racist policy through their actions or inaction or expressing a racist idea.” This incisive definition forces the reader to hold themselves accountable for their ideas and actions. In his 2019 book, How to Be an Antiracist, he explores his own experience with examining the racist ideas and beliefs he previously held before embracing antiracist values.
Photo: Drisana, Wendy, Danica and Mike Carey