Photo Credit: Courtesy of National Brotherhood of Skiers
National Brotherhood of Skiers: The Group Adding Color To The Slopes
For more than 40 years, the National Brotherhood of Skiers has made it their mission to create a safe space for Black Americans to enjoy winter sports.
What started as a meeting with 13 ski clubs in 1973 in Aspen, Colorado, has grown to more than 50 clubs and 3,500 members across four regions in the United States. The club is not exclusively for men, women and children are all welcomed, too.
“Our mission is to identify, develop and support athletes of color, so that they can compete in national competitions and go in to win an Olympic gold medal,” said Lawanda Joseph, the director of public relations & marketing. “The second goal is to introduce African Americans to winter sports.”
Each year, NBS hosts a summit at a ski resort in the United States. Joseph said it’s the largest gathering of Black winter sports clubs where they come together for skiing, snowboarding, and even non ski activities.
“It’s a family reunion where people come back together for that camaraderie. It’s just seeing so many African Americans coming together in sports that typically you do not see us involved in,” said Joseph.
Since the Black Lives Matter movement, Joseph said the phone has been ringing off the hook with ski resorts looking for more ways to make their spaces more inclusive.
“We’re doing a lot of work because we want to start seeing African Americans in advertising materials,” Joseph added. “We want to see more representation in corporate positions as well.”
With the ongoing health crisis, NBS will not hold its annual summit in 2021. Instead, they are hosting a virtual event from Feb. 26 through Feb. 28.
You can find the information at www.nbs.org.