The Community Sailing Center Featured on CBS Morning Show For Efforts in Diversity and Inclusion
[Burlington, VT – July 26, 2022]
In 2021 the Community Sailing Center launched its newest signature program, the Sailing Diversity Access Initiative, one that has received national attention. This initiative was borne out of the obligation and desire to foster a new generation of sailors to create a community that represents everyone on Lake Champlain, overcoming racial and socioeconomic barriers to the sport. The program offers children who identify as BIPOC between the ages of 11-15 a fully funded summer camp experience of up to 4 weeks, and the ability to return for up to 4 years or until they are of age to become a Junior Instructor! This programming is the first step in an effort to overcome racial and socioeconomic barriers to the sport of sailing, and the Community Sailing Center has made this 4 year commitment to ensure that these children can sail for life, not just for the summer. This program opens 40 new camp weeks each year, in its first year the Community Sailing Center (CSC) saw 17 young BIPOC campers join the program, more than tripling the amount of BIPOC participation in the program’s first year running. CSC is well underway with the second year of this program and we are thrilled to say that the the number of participants has nearly doubled, with 28 BIPOC youth in the program this year. This programming is part of a long-term commitment by CSC to continue the work of inclusion in a sport that has historically left many people on shore.
After its first year CSC won the US Sailing Award for Inclusivity, and shortly afterwards was in contact with the CBS Morning Show to coordinate a segment on the programming and the impact on the families and children that participate. In late April the CBS Morning Show confirmed that they wanted to do a segment on the work happening at the Community Sailing Center, and in late June an entire film crew came on site from all across the country to speak to campers in the program and share their stories.
From this national platform CSC hopes to inspire other Community Sailing Centers to create programming that encourages and fosters the inclusivity that is so needed in the sport. The Community Sailing Center is dedicated to making sure every child gets a chance to have their hand on the tiller, if you would like to donate to support this initiative please hit “Donate” today in the upper right hand corner of your screen! CSC is very excited to announce that thanks to the Waterwheel Foundation, the Diversity Access Initiative will be expanded to include Middle School and High School racing for BIPOC students starting this Fall! This creates much needed and expanded access on a program that will only continue to grow.
This programming would not be possible without the outpouring of support that CSC has received from the community, including Outdoor Gear Exchange, the Lake Champlain Basin Program, VOREC, Mascoma, The Waterwheel Foundation, The Vermont Children’s Trust Foundation, Lawson’s Sunshine Fund, the Agnes M. Lindsay Trust and many more.