February 27: Milwaukee Discussion
I drove into Milwaukee right as the sun was setting on the city, which made for one of the most beautiful first impressions on the tour. We were also in this beautiful space called the Urban Ecology Center, which was full of natural wood in both the design and the artwork. In the conversation, we had a great variety of elite players, local league players, members on the Board of the Milwaukee Ultimate Club (MUC), college players and pick-up players. There were just over 20 people there, which made it even more remarkable to have such a diversity of perspectives in the room.
We started with an activity on identity to reflect on how our identities intersect with the perspectives we take of ourselves. One thing I mis-explained was about gender identity and gender expression. What I meant to say is that we have a sex given to us at birth, and our gender identity is whether that's Cis, matching the sex given to us at birth, or Trans, different than our given sex at birth. You can check out Trans Student Education Resources for more information.
Then, we did a mapping activity to look at the current state of ultimate in Milwaukee. Many women don’t feel safe in the local league that frequently goes 5/2 or even 6/1 men/women ratio. Further, the community expressed a disconnect between the top players in the community and the local players (a consistent theme across the tour). And lastly, there is no consistent pick-up game. When it does happen, there’s no guarantee numbers will show, and there’s not a lot of cross mixing between communities and groups of players. In looking at next steps, some people discussed a goal of committing to going to weekly pickup once a month and to encourage their friends to go too. Others talked about how they could get more involved with the Board to develop league wide captain’s meetings that include the topic of creating inclusive spaces on our teams during league.