“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength. We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of that tapestry are equal in value no matter their color.” – Maya Angelou
Events like The Color of Ultimate: ATL exist today to reinforce Maya Angelou’s point: we are strongest as a people when we celebrate each other’s differences.
On June 22, 2019, AFDC: Project Diversity will host The Color of Ultimate: ATL, a game whose goal is to bring awareness about the socioeconomic and racial inequity of the sport of ultimate. The day will include the following events:
- Round-table discussions for participating players about race, class, and inequity in ultimate and how ultimate communities can develop action plans to best reach the underrepresented demographics and communities.
- FREE pre-game youth and adult clinics led by elite players of color
- An all-star showcase game to close the night!
The game will take place at 7:00pm at St. Pius X High School in Atlanta, GA. The preceding clinics will take place at the same location from 5:30-6:30pm. Admission to the game is free, although donations to the cause will be accepted upon entry. The game will be live-streamed for free on youtube and available on youtube after the game as well.
To ensure a captivating and engaging experience for those participating throughout the day, top-level players—all who self-identify as players of color—from across the country (and Colombia, South America) have applied to and been recruited to play in this special event. Many of these players have made repeat appearances at USA Ultimate’s Club National Championships or at World Flying Disc Federation’s (WFDF) World Championships, and most have also played ultimate professionally through the Premier Ultimate League (PUL) or American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL).
This year’s iteration of the showcase game has grown exponentially as Project Diversity has validated and promoted The Color of Ultimate: ATL by additionally partnering with several sponsors, and hosting the game at a well-known high school football stadium. The game has come a long way from the first Color of Ultimate game that was held in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in September 2018 on a side football practice field that had only about twenty spectators.
The players coming to participate in this event are not only elite level competitors, but are also coaches and mentors in their respective communities. They have seen a need to represent their cultures and show younger generations that they too are capable of enjoying the sport and performing at the highest level of competition. We will be featuring a few of them leading up to the event in a future post.
The goal of the event remains to enable people of minority races to see others that look like them playing ultimate at a highly competitive level. Ultimate is an easily accessible game in terms of financial cost of entry. All you need are a disc and field. So why does this sport struggle with a lack of diversity?
When asked this question, Josh T. Feng, the director of Project Diversity, said, “People need to realize that there is a racial and socioeconomic inequity in ultimate, and that it isn’t okay. Once they’ve done that, we need to really think about how we can actually make a difference. Can we get more coaches into schools that NEED a single-qualified ultimate coach as opposed to supporting schools that already have several qualified coaches? […] Can we provide more opportunity and access to people who would love the sport but don’t know about it or can’t make it happen on their own? And then we need to actually do something about it.”
At the end of the day, one goal of hosting The Color of Ultimate: ATL is to bring about meaningful discussions to raise awareness and brainstorm solutions to the racial and socioeconomic disparities in the ultimate frisbee community. People play because they love the sport. They also advocate for others because everyone should have the opportunity to discover their love for the sport of ultimate. Join in strengthening the diversity of our community on June 22nd at St. Pius X High School at 7:00 pm.
Click here for more information on the game:
Click here to sponsor a player, donate to the mission, or purchase a ticket:
Thank you to all of our sponsors supporting this event, but especially the Atlanta Soul, the Atlanta Hustle, Spin Ultimate and ARIA Discs for helping contribute to our mission of increasing the racial and socioeconomic diversity in ultimate.