An Open Letter to the Skating Community
It has been brought to our attention via call-ins and call outs that our pages are not living up to our mission to “promote rad roller skaters shredding up skateparks and bowls on their quad skates throughout the world”. We have always made it our mission to feature a diverse group of skaters, but we realise that we are viewing that through our own lens of priviledge and there has been an imbalance and lack of representation, in particular skaters of colour, indigenous and non-binary skaters. We are learning and with any type of learning, mistakes are a part of growth.
We're a small but dedicated team working to build communities and designing skate products to enhance the skatepark experience for everyone. Today we want to acknowledge that we haven’t done a good enough job at crafting adequate diversity on our pages or in our skate team.
We want to get better together with your help. So we are asking for feedback from you, the very community we serve.
Representation matters. Inclusivity matters. Diversity matters. And while our mission is steered towards quad skating, because that is our passion, it doesn’t stop there.
We want to see skaters of all kinds, of all skill levels, ages, genders, ethnicities, sizes, and identities in skateparks. We want skaters to look at our page and community and feel included, inspired, welcomed and represented. To feel like they are part of the community that is working together to spread the stoke of a life on wheels.
We are looking forward to shaking up our skate team and have plans in development for 2020. We are looking to expand our lens and ensure that we are featuring and promoting skaters that represent you. All of you. We are also currently rewriting our Code of Conduct (current version here) and we are currently developing our Diversity and Inclusion policies.
When CIB first started 7 years ago, it was intended to create safe skating spaces for females learning to skate on quads in skateparks. At the time, through our lens, that is what the community needed.
We are a small company with a big footprint. The needs of the community have outgrown the original outset and we need to move with it. We need to widely represent race, ethnicity, size, age, sexuality, gender and gender diversity and all that’s in between. Everyone is welcome. You can skate with us. We want you to skate with us.
What can we do to make you feel heard, important and part of the greater drive to expand OUR skating community and grow OUR sport? We have switched to using CIB as opposed to the full rendition of Chicks in Bowls in many of our communications but maybe this isn’t enough.
What does the C in CIB stand for? Does ‘chicks’ represent you? Inspire you! Offend you? You will notice that earlier this year we changed our website to CIBCrew.com in order to better include everyone. Each day we learn a little more because of you.
We apologise to anyone who has not felt heard or seen by us or the community. We are a very small company that’s a part of a movement towards equality and sometimes messages get lost, or marked read but not actioned.
We would love to continue this conversation. Please email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as we can. We have also created an anonymous feedback form [linked here] which we will check twice a month, and use to ensure that we continue to learn, grow and represent the community to the best of our ability.
Thank you to @bipocwhoskate who has been putting in the work to highlight and feature indigenous skaters and people of color that are underrepresented in the skating scene. We apologise for anything we have done to contribute to the white appearance of this community, it is a rainbow and it should be represented as such.
Thanks also to @queerskatealliance for the work they’re doing to create a conversation about gender, inclusivity, and diversity. We are following your mission and learning from you.
Thank you to @fat_girl_has_moxi for calling us out and to all those who mirrored the call. We are listening and appreciate you for taking these steps.
We appreciate the kindness you have shown by reaching out to us. We understand the hurt that has been caused to those who do not feel represented and we are working to change that. We are listening and your concerns are valid. We want to do right by you because you are the community, and we always have been and always will be a community first and a brand second.
At the very heart of CIB is a desire to learn together with rad humans and today we are asking for you to help us be better tomorrow.
Trample, Sandy, Erin, and the CIB Crew