Join UChicago Crew in Making a Difference
November 10 2020
We recently announced the launch of a fundraising campaign to support diversity and inclusion initiatives within the UChicago Rowing team, generously supported through a matching challenge by a generous alumni donor. Our hearts have been warmed by the outpouring of support we have been met with since.
Many valued members of the community have reached out to offer donations in support of these initiatives, and strong words of encouragement in support of our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. As students, we know that these have been difficult and stressful times, but we are touched that the rowing community has come together to lift each other up and those around us.
To date, we have raised $400 towards our goal of $5000, to be matched by a generous donor. These funds will go towards removing barriers to accessing rowing, and supporting our team’s outreach initiatives. To learn more, you can visit our website and read our Statement on Black Lives. You can join this initiative today by making a gift online (see instructions below), or sharing this campaign with others who are willing to share in this endeavor.
We hope your families are safe and well.
Eric Chen & Laurel Lyngklip
Fundraising Chair & Treasurer
The University of Chicago Crew Team
5530 S Ellis Ave
Chicago, IL 60637
Thank you in advance for your support!
UChicago Crew is part of a 501(c)3 organization and all donations are tax deductible.
Join UChicago Crew’s Diversity & Inclusion Efforts
October 21, 2020
Dear Alumni, Parents, and Friends,
We write today to announce the launch of a new matching opportunity in support of the UChicago Rowing Team’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Our hope is that these funds will make the rowing experience more accessible for those who could not otherwise afford it, and support our initiatives to give back to South Side communities.
While we are still exploring ways to allocate these funds in the most impactful way, we are grateful to a generous alumnus for stepping forward to jumpstart these efforts with a generous matching challenge. They pledged a 1:1 match of the next $5,000 in contributions to the crew team in support of this initiative, which means your gift will now make double the impact (a $500 gift = $1,000 total!). Thank you to them and everyone who has helped us take concrete steps toward change within our program and community. To secure their match, please make your gift online today, and see our giving instructions below.
Our team has historically been one of the most diverse teams in the country, and today we are honored to be carrying forward and expanding this legacy. We hope you will join us in removing the barriers to rowing, and promoting diversity and inclusion in the rowing community. Please stay tuned to our website to learn more as we develop our specific plans and for ways to help. If you have additional ideas, we welcome those as well.
We hope your families are safe and well.
The UChicago Rowing Team
UChicago Crew Statement on Black Lives
August 31, 2020
We are writing to affirm that the UChicago Crew Team stands in solidarity with the victims of systemic racism, discrimination, and violence. Recent events, including the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and countless others, have made the world painfully conscious of the difficult lived experiences of the Black community in our country. We recognize that these issues are not divorced from our team, and that instances of police brutality have touched the lives of our own members in the past. We are acutely aware of the racism that is endured by the members within our communities, and devastated by the pain and loss it continually causes.
This statement arrives after several weeks of difficult discussions and consternation. As a board and as a team, we have been grappling with many of the same questions our country is dealing with: To what extent do we benefit from the historic legacy of racism, and to what extent are we complicit in perpetuating it today? Is it our place to speak out against these issues, and whom are we hurting when we stay silent? More broadly, how do we reconcile our national identity with our history?
Asking and answering these questions has been a difficult and at times divisive process. We do not tolerate racism on this team, but silence is a form of toleration. We realize that in failing to speak up soon enough, we have let down some members of our team and our larger community. For that we are deeply sorry.
Although it is reaching you too late, we hope that you see this message as we do, as an answer to these questions, as a symbol of solidarity, and as the first step of the growth we need to collectively achieve. For many of us, rowing is about empowering ourselves and our teammates. With this in mind, we want to continue empowering each other not only as rowers but also as advocates for the marginalized members of our community.
Historically, rowing has been a homogenous, white sport that has been inaccessible to the Black community and to people of color. In practicing this sport, we find it critical to examine the ways in which rowing culture benefits from institutions of systemic racism. More concretely, we are committed to protecting and improving our commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Moving forward, we will be working with the Center for Inclusion and Identity to implement the following initiatives within our team:
- We will create an anonymous channel for team members to voice their concerns about the team atmosphere and environment; they will be shared with the Team Captains and the President.
- Rowing is seen as a predominantly white sport; in order to ensure that our team is seen as an open and inclusive environment for everyone, future recruitment will attempt to more fully represent the diversity of our community.
- The Board is actively looking into the creation of an Inclusivity Fund to make UChicago Crew more financially accessible.
- The Board will appoint a “Community Engagement Advisor” who will work closely with the Office of Civic Engagement to spearhead various engagement opportunities with South Side communities.
Finally, in closing:
To the People of Color within our community:
Please know that we are determined to uphold our commitment to solidarity. These issues are real and they can no longer be ignored. Although we cannot all possibly understand the depth of your pain and grief, we are determined to protect and support you.
We want you to feel welcome here; UChicago Crew must be a safe and inclusive community for Black students and other students of color. If you have any suggestions on how we can better achieve this, we welcome your thoughts. As we continue to educate ourselves on these issues, we want you to know that we see you and we hear you. We are listening.
To the allies in our community:
It is more important now than ever to reexamine the ways in which racism affects those around us, and to ask how we can make a positive impact for marginalized members of our society. We realize that often we may mean well but still act in ways that reinforce systemic injustice. We urge you to confront the ways in which the effects of racism live on in our communities and practices.
Reckoning with institutions of racism within our society will be difficult and painful, because they are so prevalent and so central to American existence. It will demand discomfort and growth from each and every one of us. However, as rowers we are used to embracing pain and discomfort in pursuit of growth; we are confident that this community is uniquely equipped to perform the introspection and reform that is urgently needed.
If anyone has more suggestions or ideas for how to make the UChicago Crew Team a more inclusive and safer team, please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Black Lives Matter.
The UChicago Crew Team