COVID-19 Announcement, March 12 2020: ALL PROJECT DIVERSITY CLINICS AND PROGRAMS HAVE BEEN POSTPONED INDEFINITELY DUE TO COVID-19 PRECAUTION MEASURES. BOTH AFDC AND ATL PARKS AND REC ARE ON THE SAME PAGE ON THIS IN REGARDS TO POSTPONING PROGRAMMING. WE ARE LOOKING INTO ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO SUPPORT THE COMMUNITY. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT, WE’LL KEEP YOU UPDATED AS THINGS PROGRESS.
Contact Us: Questions or inquiries? Want to volunteer with us or support us with a donation? Want some advice for your community? Please email Josh T. Feng, Director of Project Diversity, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or email any of our leadership in the ‘Our Team’ section, and we’ll be happy to help!
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The mission of AFDC: Project Diversity is to help people of underrepresented socioeconomic and racial backgrounds, specifically within the Atlanta metro area, access and enjoy the opportunities and benefits of ultimate.
What does inclusion look like?
A culture that welcomes, engages, and retains diverse new members
What is the current state of our community?
Ultimate has a low cost when it comes to barrier of entry, but is still a predominantly white and upper-class sport. There is an overall unawareness and indifference to this racial and socioeconomic disparity.
What we do:
- We target and focus on geographically coherent, accessible, and community-oriented areas that would make the most sense to grow ultimate in.
- We create and sustain relationships and partnerships with local organizations to make a real impact in the community.
- We focus on providing youth (under 18) a sustainable option to play while instilling the positive values of ultimate frisbee.
- We desire to raise and sustain/retain the percentage of (racially and socioeconomically) underrepresented players in the Atlanta Metro Area, because we acknowledge that ultimate is a predominantly white, upper-middle class sport.This is particularly jarring because ultimate, at least on the surface, has an incredibly low financial barrier to entry.
- We provide free consultation to other communities looking to achieve similar goals.
Projects & Initiatives:
While we made our grand entrance to the national ultimate community with by hosting The Color of Ultimate: ATL–an ultimate showcase game featuring our game’s most elite players of color from around the world–in June 2019, we are now focusing our efforts in the local Atlanta community. Our current strategic priorities are as follows:
- Growth in the Maynard Jackson High School Cluster of Atlanta, specifically:
- The creation and support of the Maynard Jackson High School (A Title I Atlanta Public School) Teams.
- The creation and support of Maynard Jackson feeding Title I middle school teams, Wesley International Academy and King Middle School.
- Providing twice-a-
- week clinics at the MLK Aquatic and Recreation Center in Old Fourth Ward as a partnership with Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation. Our clinics serve 3rd-5th grade boys and girls, 100% of whom are students of color.
- Engage, Educate, Sustain knowledge of Current Ultimate Players in the Atlanta Metro area.
- Through documentary watch parties, discussions, hat tournaments, etc.
- Connecting, consulting, and supporting other ultimate organizations, including:
- High School, College, and Adult Teams
- City/Location based ultimate organizations and communities
- To date, we have provided consultations/advice to the following communities, amongst others:
- Individual Teams: University of Georgia, Vanderbilt University, Binghamton University, Yale University, Oklahoma Christian University, Atlanta International School.
- Local Ultimate Organizations from: San Francisco, Colorado, Boston, NC Triangle, St. Louis, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Chicago, New York, Austin, Tallahassee, Washington D.C.
Josh T. Feng is a founding member and the director of Project Diversity. Josh began playing ultimate in 2008, and has both played and coached at the highest levels. Last autumn, Josh founded and coached the Wesley middle school ultimate team, the only active predominantly minority ultimate team–at any competitive level–in the Atlanta Metro area. He has since dedicated himself to increasing racial and socioeconomic diversity in ultimate.
In his non-ultimate spare time, Josh enjoys traveling, the outdoors, cooking, and rooting for the New England Patriots and Boston Celtics.
Lauren Lee is a founding committee member of Project Diversity. First introduced to ultimate in high school, Lauren joined Lynx Rufus, the Georgia College Women’s ultimate team her sophomore year. Lauren’s experience resulted in a love and dedication for ultimate, inclusivity, and Spirit of The Game.
Lauren’s playing resume includes DIII College Nationals appearances in 2013 and 2014, Indoor Nationals appearance in 2015, co-founding and captaining Atlanta’s 9Hammer, and captaining Atlanta Outbreak. She coached AFDC youth leagues, Sutton Middle School’s ultimate team, and Emory’s Women’s B team (Tuna). Lauren is also active in the AFDC leagues, captaining fall and spring league teams to help cultivate new players in the sport.
As a supervisor for a corporate company, Lauren has experience with engaging in difficult conversations, managing conflict, and empowering people. When she isn’t leading a team, Lauren enjoys playing beach volleyball, spikeball, disc golf, and board games.
Devin Cox is a founding committee member of Project Diversity. A Paideia School and University of Georgia alumnus, he coached UGA’s Men’s C team and the Wesley middle school ultimate team. Devin enjoys playing goaltimate, mixed ultimate, and is a 2019 USAU Beach Ultimate National Champion.
As a reading and sensory-cognitive instructor, Devin is no stranger to helping youth achieve their potential. Outside work and ultimate, he enjoys Magic: the Gathering and plays in The Long Balls, a band that consists of Atlanta ultimate players.
Anraya Palmer is from Conyers, GA but reps Atlanta to the fullest. She is currently a captain for Atlanta Ozone. She has played on Atlanta Soul for 2 seasons now. She has previously played for Atlanta Outbreak and UGA Hodawgs/Dawgma/Athena. Anraya has been coaching Paideia for the last 5 seasons. She is also a USAU Live Ultimate Ambassadors.
Outside of ultimate, she is an elementary school teacher at the Friends School. Anraya recently got married this past November to her husband Erik. She is a big fan of the Atlanta Dream. #blacklivesmatter #betonwomen
Barckley Toole wants to help enrich Atlanta’s ultimate community. Having played for over 25 years, he has had the opportunity to play extensively in Europe, Asia, and India. Barckley believes that growing the diversity of Atlanta’s ultimate players will result in stronger community and better overall ultimate experience.
In addition to Project Diversity, he spends time with his wife and 4 children, coaches and leads youth ultimate, is active in his church, and competes at the oldest level.
Peter Thomas has played at many levels of ultimate, from weekly pick–up in ATL, DC ,and Kampala, Uganda to the Ultimate championships at the college, club (Chain Lightning), Masters, Grand Masters, and Worlds levels. As an African-American, Peter is passionate about promoting and helping to bring diversity to the game of ultimate locally, and globally. As a part of the ownership group of the Atlanta Hustle, Peter hopes to provide insight and advocacy for greater diversity and inclusion at all levels of ultimate. He hopes his access and representation of a professional team is an opportunity to increase visibility and facilitate greater opportunities for Project Diversity and the community at large.
Outside of ultimate, Peter is an epidemiologist with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, where he currently assist in training scientists in African francophone countries in field epidemiology.