Diversity & Inclusion at RMMHA
June 19, 2020
Over the last few weeks, we have all witnessed some horrific examples of racism. The events have been difficult to watch. However, the suffering they represent is the reality of life for millions of our fellow human beings across the globe every day. We also know that some of our members have been hurt in very personal ways, and that the injustices we are witnessing are real and painful.
These are difficult times. COVID-19 has transformed our lives and caused pain around the world. However, racism is a disease that has been with us for generations and we have yet to cure it. Yes, we have made some progress, but there is much urgent work ahead of us.
We know we can and must do more in our own community. At RMMHA, diversity and inclusion are part of our core values. We work hard every day to create an environment in our community that is supportive of all our members and families. We must acknowledge that this suffering has been a reality of life for many community members for too long.
Many people have voiced a desire to support and make a difference, though sometimes a fear of not knowing the right thing to say or do can cause a retreat to silence. To everyone we say -- Now is the time to speak up! We must share our feelings, listen to each other and have caring conversations, even if doing so makes us feel uncomfortable.
Across RMMHA, being inclusive and embracing our differences makes us better and stronger. We want a sports community where all people can thrive regardless of race or religion, gender or sexual orientation, age, ability, or cultural background. Now, more than ever, we must come together to support one another. We ask you to join in standing together in striving for a fair and inclusive tomorrow for everyone.
As a hockey community, RMMHA will continue to support initiatives that remove racism and prejudice from our game, and will stand behind rules and policies that enforce zero tolerance for abuse of any kind - on or off the ice.
We are dedicated to continue educating our coaches, athletes and parents about the importance of inclusion and diversity. We want EVERYONE to be excited about being a part of the greatest sport on earth.
If you have any feedback on this topic or if you are in need of support, please reach out. We are here to support you in any way we can.
Yours truly on behalf of your RMMHA Board,
Some helpful links:
Here are a few practical suggestions for developing an environment in which diversity is valued:
1. Take an inventory of your home's diversity. Are your toys sending a subtle message? Make it a point to buy dolls and action figures of every race. Watch how your kids react.
2. Be intentional in showing your children positive examples of other races in the media they watch.
3. Take inventory of your own racial biases. Be careful with the language you use around your children. Avoid making stereotypical statements or racial jokes in front of your children (or better yet, don't do it at all).
4. Look for opportunities to immerse your family in other cultures and ways of life. Try to find situations where your family is the minority. This is a great stretching and empathy-building opportunity for you and your kids. Try attending a minority church event or a cultural festival. Again, observe your child's reactions and open a dialogue about how that feels.
5. Read books that depict children from other races and countries. For an incredible list of multi-cultural children's books.
6. Just observe. Watch how your children play with children who are different, whether that difference involves race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability or cultural background. Talk about it. Let your child know that you are a safe person to process their feelings and reactions with, while at the same time guiding them to accept children with differences.
7. Talk to your children about prejudice. Ask them to recall any they have observed. Encourage them to be advocates against bullying towards children who are different.
8. Lead by example. Widen your circle of friends and acquaintances to include people from different races, backgrounds, cultures, sexual orientation, abilities and experiences.