In the fall of 2019, the CSEP Board unanimously passed an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) statement. The statement was posted in clear view on our website to create an environment where everyone should feel that the organization is accessible and there are equal opportunities in all facets of the organization and, where all members, staff and volunteers feel safe to be themselves. In the wake of recent events around the world surrounding equality and justice for all, the Board found it prudent to review the statement and ensure that the organization was not only proclaiming inclusivity but actively carrying out its principles.
We are doing this, initially, in two ways:
First, we are asking members to share with us (email@example.com) their thoughts or suggestions for CSEP in terms of equity, diversity, and inclusion. We want to identify ways in which we, as a Board and an organization as a whole, can continue to meet the objectives set out in the EDI statement.
The second approach we are taking is to launch a CSEP Youth Outreach Program to increase awareness of the opportunities in the world of exercise science for all youth. We envision the program to be 30-40 minute exercise/fitness workshops that include information about exercise science as a career, to be delivered by CSEP Ambassadors; in order to ensure a broad reach we will also focus on low-income area schools/community centres and youth mentorship programs.
Additionally, the program will provide opportunities for youth to visit exercise science research labs of participating academic members. Of course, this will need to be rolled out with full consideration of the restrictions of the COVID-19 crisis. It is the hope that the outreach program will provide the opportunity for our organization to grow and represent the rich diversity of the country in which we live.
This initiative, which is not small or easy to carry to out, will not only require your support, but the active participation of as many CSEP members as possible. The development of this outreach program is just beginning; nevertheless, there are ways for you to participate right away.
- One: sign-up for our Outreach Planning Committee by sending an email of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org. Here we will need a strong committee that will initially be responsible for the launch of the program as well as the creation of workshop content and resources that our Ambassadors can use to reach out to local area schools and community organizations. If you are interested in helping build this outreach program, this is the committee for you!
- Two: sign up to be an Ambassador (email@example.com; subject title: Ambassador and your city/town), to help with the delivery of the workshops.
- Finally, for Academic members specifically, you can let us know that you are willing to accept a group of youths to come to explore your lab. Such a visit may be a great initiative for your graduate students. If your lab or institution is already doing outreach activities of a similar nature, please let us know so we can collaborate with you.
I know many of you are already doing great things in your communities; I encourage every CSEP member to come together as a community of health and fitness professionals.
As a society, we are facing big challenges, and as an organization want to do our part. We stand united against racism, bigotry, and all forms of discrimination – and now is the time to go out of our way to show it, with actions beyond just words.
We don’t want to take a top-down approach but instead, approach these issues in a way that enables every willing CSEP member to have input into the development and delivery of our initiatives, and the ownership of every success. As we know, compassion cannot be forced and cannot be legislated; it must come from within. Therefore, I urge everyone to find it within themselves to join this CSEP outreach initiative and contribute to the work of ensuring equal opportunities and justice for all.
Stay tuned for more details.
Adam Upshaw, PhD, MSc, MEd, RKin, CSEP-CEP
Chair, CSEP Board of Directors