January 21: Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City was the first city that made me feel like we were in the middle of the country. Leaving Reno on the long and lonely 80-East made me reflect on the isolation Reno talked about in their workshop.

One of my best friends from college, Emily Jensen, lives in Salt Lake City and connected me to Leah Smith, another Utah native. Leah had hosted a gender equity conversation in the city in November and so we collaborated on how to move that conversation forward. It was clear that the community felt gender equity was important to grow the sport, except no one was really sure how to do it.

We first defined gender equity so we were all on the same page (giving more resources to those who haven’t had them in the past due to their gender), and then broke into four different small groups to dive more in-depth in the conversation: Worthwhile Ideas and Projects (if we could do anything); Measuring Progress; Accountability; and Increasing Awareness. After an initial discussion on the topics, we defined intersectional feminism as a group (how different identities overlap with gender to impact our unique experiences), and then relooked at our topics through an intersectional lens. Leah kindly scanned the notes for everyone.

We essentially came up with a massive action plan for the community, although the key takeaways were:

  • There is a spectrum of action that we can do – whether its talking to a friend about gender equity applies to your circle or volunteering to start a program at a local school.
  • Having clear measurements will help focus the work the community wants to do moving forward.
  • Since this process will take a long time to implement and reach equitable levels, it’s important to develop systems to hold each other accountable for the tasks they volunteer for.

At night, we partnered with the University of Utah Spiral Jetty and Utah Elevate, the women’s club team based in Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah, to bring a women’s showcase game to the community! It happened after a league night, which is a bunch of people hanging out in a big bubble around a turf throwing with their friends on the sideline and catching up. People bring chairs to sit in and rolling materials to roll on while they cheer and heckle on others in the Salt Lake City ultimate scene. Check out the full game recap here and photos of the game on Elevate’s home page and on Upwind’s!

spiral jetty on the sideline.jpg
Laurel OldershawComment