Building Equitable and Sustainable Sport Communities
Discourse has erupted in Durham, NC surrounding the unique social responsibilities competitive sport programs can play in our understanding of fairness and justice. We know communities thrive when they nourish our innate human desire to excel while being inclusive and accountable and we plan to start with our own fencing community.
Resilience. Strength. Equity.
The pursuit of competition is rooted in our innate desire to reach our full potential. The original Olympic motto is made up of three Latin words: Citius – Altius – Fortius. These words mean Faster – Higher – Stronger. On the 20th of July 2021, the International Olympic Committee approved a change in the Olympic motto adding the word Together. Now the motto reads in Latin “Citius, Altius, Fortius – Communiter” and “Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together” in English. This change reflects the increasing global awareness of our interconnectedness.
Participation in an athletic experience offers us a pathway to investigate the difficult questions of what inclusion means under pressure. We believe competitive sport communities play a vital role in helping us better understand fairness and how we develop our sense of justice.
“Champions keep playing until they get it right.” — Billie Jean King
Forge Teams mission is to build leaders and foster equity through community organizing, educational programming, and competitive sports.
Measure Support with Motivation
America’s $19-billion youth sports industry has changed the playing field. We’ve unintentionally intensified inequities between and within communities using America’s greatest pastime: sport. The race to the podium has undermined many physical and psychological benefits of sport participation.
The more complex societal consequences of the ‘race to the podium’ mentality include open secrets related to sexual, psychological, and emotional abuse damaging the positive impacts and growth potential sport helps us to obtain.
So, what can our communities do? Get to work! First, let’s evaluate our standards for sport success, engage our local teams and use our community’s resources to vet the best solutions.
‘The Forge’ – Redefining Community Spaces
Opened Feb 2022 our facility hosts local and regional fencing events, adaptive sports programming, an after-school safe-space, summer camps, and a variety of social and physical activities for all ages and ability levels. We collaborate with schools, for-profit and non-profit sports entities who are working to align with our mission.
Located at 610 N. Duke Street, near the heart of Downtown in Durham, NC, this location is within walking distance to Brightleaf, N. Durham neighborhoods, Duke University, and the American Tobacco Trail.
Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. — Nelson Mandela