Finding a way to take action against HB2 at Nationals.
May 16, 2016 by Kyle Weisbrod in Opinion with 23 comments
There’s been a good deal of talk in the ultimate community about North Carolina’s House Bill 2, the D-I and D-III College Championships, and what it means for our community where inclusiveness and being welcoming are core values. USAU released a statement days after the bill passed to condemn the passage of the bill. Citing established commitments and the logistical challenges of moving the event, USAU has kept both the D-I and D-III National Championships in North Carolina.
USAU’s decision to continue to hold the championships in North Carolina has moved the hard decision of balancing our competitive goals and desire to play ultimate while maintaining our core values to the teams and players themselves. Annie Paden, of D-I National Qualifier Western Washington Chaos, writes passionately about the difficult position that many have been placed in. D-III Nationals qualifiers Claremont Colleges Greenshirts issued a statement against HB-2 and described their intention while in North Carolina to patronize only local businesses that have stood against HB-2 as well as volunteer for a local LGBTQ+ community center. For their part, USAU and official event merchandiser Five Ultimate have committed to raising awareness and money through a rainbow disc design and merchandise which promotes inclusiveness.
Inspired somewhat by Paden’s article, University of Washington discussed HB-2 and whether we should attend Nationals and, if we did, how we could do it in line with our values. We decided that we have the opportunity with our presence in North Carolina to make more of an impact on this discriminatory law than by simply boycotting the event.
We have since reached out to the Raleigh-Durham chapters of groups working to repeal HB-2 including America Votes, Progress NC, Aim Higher Now NC, and Human Rights Campaign. We are hoping to coordinate some larger scale action with them and would like to invite other event attendees to be a part of this. Currently, the plans include:
- Phone-banking and/or local canvassing on Thursday evening before D-I Nationals (4-8 PM). There are three competitive legislative districts where legislators voted for HB2 within 10-15 minutes of the event site. If we have even a few dozen volunteers we could move the dial in those districts. Also, as this is at the same time as the Nationals captain’s meeting, this is unlikely to interfere with any team’s current planned events.
- Coordinating media at the fields to take team pictures with signs/white-boards that have messages around repealing HB2. Aim Higher Now NC will help in coordinating media to come out and cover the event with a focus on the repeal efforts helping to bring attention to the event, the sport, and the message.
If your team is interested in being a part of these or other actions, please determine a team contact (preferably not a captain) and fill out this form.
In addition, we are working on compiling a list of housing and food options from businesses that support repealing HB-2. Please feel free to use this as a resource when making decisions about what businesses to patronize while in North Carolina.