Step Up
Step Out

The Gender Equity Action Group (GEAG) announces a new, collaborative project: Step Up, Step Out.

The work around gender equity in the past year has been inspiring. Voices internal and external to the GEAG have been working tirelessly to educate, advocate, and demand positive changes for women in our sport. Great work has been done. But much of this work has been lead by women. We believe men in ultimate have a responsibility to be louder; to learn, to converse, to educate, and to collectively step up and out into the gender equity movement in ultimate.

What is Step Up, Step Out?
Step Up, Step Out is a series of videos showcasing male ultimate players’ thoughts about gender equity in ultimate. The goal of the project is to encourage males in our sport to share and understand perspectives, to model and encourage community conversation, and to inspire more action towards gender equity. Leaders within GEAG and Upwind Ultimate collaborated to produce the project. We hope that Step up, Step Out will engage and mobilize more males in the community to affect change at the local, national, and global level.

Please share via social media, using the hashtags #StepUpStepOut and #SUSO. Talk to a friend about it. Write a blog post. Whatever taking action in your community looks like-- just step up, and step out.


Where can you find more information about Step Up, Step Out?
#StepUpStepOut will be a video series published on it’s own YouTube and Instagram account. 

The GEAG will make all announcements and post all resources following the video series via Upwind Ultimate’s media outlets.

Why are men the focus of this series?
Men benefit from systems and biases present in sports, and more men need to acknowledge their privilege and use it to inspire positive change. We believe that too many are being silent on major issues in our sport, especially around gender equity. These same men are the ones most highlighted and featured in the public eye. It's time to speak up.

We’re not looking for a pat on the back. We’re not trying to “save the day.” We’re doing what’s right; we’re doing our part.

What about women?

This project has included and involved women from the beginning. The GEAG leaders have been on board in helping manifest this project.

That said, most initiatives around gender equity in ultimate are being spearheaded by women, and men should not rely on them as a crutch. We hope women will support men in being courageous and vulnerable.  We hope that men continue to listen to women in the community, learn from their experiences, and help lift the burden of their emotional labor brought on by taxing conversations and projects.

We will be talking and working with women to help us craft/edit our goals and message.

Women will also be in the video series, including a video on how men can get more involved. 

Who is leading/initiating this project?

  • Claire Chastain - GEAG Leadership, Molly Brown, Team USA,
  • Chip Chang - GEAG Leadership, Minneapolis Pop
  • Hannah Leathers -  #StepUpStepOut Project Manager, Molly Brown
  • Mario O’Brien - #StepUpStepOut Project Manager, Sockeye, Seattle Cascades, Team USA Beach
  • Elliott Erickson - #StepUpStepOut Project Manager, Johnny Bravo, formerly Atlanta Hustle
  • Nick Stuart - Revolver, formerly Seattle Cascades, Team USA
  • Trent Dillon - Sockeye, Team USA, formerly Philadelphia Spinners
  • Pat Baylis - Revolver, SF Flamethrowers
  • Jimmy Mickle - GEAG Leadership, Johnny Bravo, Dallas Roughnecks, Team USA

Media Contact:

Videos? Why?
Videos will be a series of 1-4 minute selfie/blog videos. Examples:

  • Montage of several men sharing quick thoughts on several different topics  

  • One male player sharing his story or extended thoughts on a topic.

Video, because it...

  • feels personal and is easy to connect to and

  • is super consumable, shareable, and has big reach.

What about other resources created? Calls to action?
We hope #StepUpStepOut inspires people to ask for and create resources (articles? essays? educational resources?) that can help further the GEAG mission and vision. If that happens, we’ll aim to publish on Upwind Ultimate. But #StepUpStepOut itself is explicitly a video project, at least for now.

Videos will continue to come out through the 2017 club season.

What’s the endgame here? Tangible changes we’d like to affect? Why this? Why now?
Each individual organizer of this project holds different opinions on how to advance gender equity in ultimate. As the project developed, we realized that every idea and action boiled down to, “people just need to be talking about it more.”  We believe that until having these conversations becomes more normalized, we as a community likely won’t be able to come up with the proper "solutions".

Why right now?
With the growth and prominence of the the AUDL, we sense an increased imbalance with regard to gender equity. We see this imbalance having a HUGE effect on the sport of ultimate and how it’s perceived globally. We see a de-emphasis on gender equity, and the more traction a men’s-only league gains, the more we move away from our vision of the sport. Also, the GEAG movement started last summer was a great first step, and we think the ground is fertile for more/deeper conversation and impact.