Diversity & Inclusion is integral to the USTA mission of promoting and developing the growth of tennis and has been a formal area of focus, with a team in place to lead our efforts, since 2004. And while we haven’t always gotten it right, we are committed to striving for equity and leveling the playing field of opportunity for all.
Attracting, engaging and retaining a new generation of diverse tennis participants is a key to our future relevance as a sport and our ongoing success as a national governing body. At the USTA, we celebrate the open format – the idea that anyone from anywhere should be able to play and compete. That’s the driving force behind our Diversity & Inclusion strategy, designed to grow and promote our sport to the next generation – and future generations – of fans, players and volunteers.
Our Diversity and Inclusion strategic plan is anchored by six focus areas:
USTA Section/Community Engagement
Training and Development
Our priorities to successfully implement the plan are to:
Increase awareness within the organization of the importance of diversity and inclusion.
Provide education and skill-based training to all USTA staff and volunteer leadership.
Engage communities through Schools, NJTL and CTA networks and strategic partnerships.
Reward, recognize and communicate results.
Develop and implement metrics and accountability systems.
"Walk the Talk" by demonstrating behaviors that are aligned with our values.
Access communities through traditional and non-traditional tennis organizations, media outlets and others.
Develop and implement best practices with the greater tennis community.
The current climate in our country has underscored the vital importance of our D&I initiatives. In fact, we are in the process of selecting a new Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer who we expect will be in place by Fall 2020. As part of our heightened commitment, we’ve engaged in an extensive SWOT analysis with National and Section staff and volunteers,, as well as industry partners and external stakeholders to identify opportunities to strengthen our existing strategies. We launched the “Big Conversations” series facilitated by Dr. Janet Taylor, a community psychiatrist and expert on racial traumas, to make it safe to have the difficult, but necessary conversations with our employees about race and racism. Though initially presented as a National staff initiative, we’ve also rolled the series out to our Section staff, Board members and volunteers. To build on these conversations, we will be expanding Diversity & Inclusion training offerings. We view these steps as essential to our ability to build an inclusive, ally-oriented culture.
As part of these concerted efforts to foster respect for others and shine a light on urgent societal issues such as racial injustice, gender equality and LGBTQ advocacy, the 2020 US Open has launched a new social responsibility and impact campaign called “Be Open” to share the stories of people, communities and causes that exemplify the spirit of “being open.” We hope to inspire others, both our employees and the tennis community, to join us in being the change that the world needs now more than ever. Because when we’re “Open” together, so much more is possible.
Join Us in Change with our USTA Strategic Inclusion Partners: