About National Ski Patrol Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force
The NSP DEI Task Force was established by the NSP Board of Directors the winter of 2021. This is the beginning of a process – and a good faith effort to learn, understand and be better.  This effort will be a dynamic one as the task force works with NSP staff, the Board of Directors and other NSP leadership, and outside stakeholders and experts to pursue

  • Learning and education about myriad issues and experiences of diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Determining recommendations for us to change our organizational culture; and to propose any necessary changes to specific NSP policies, practices and programs
  • Incorporating DEI objectives into NSP’s Strategic Plan 2030, particularly as they relate to the Vision Themes, “All of our members have compelling stories of patrolling success,” and, “We have increased membership numbers, diversity and increased retention.”
  • Working together with our members, industry peers and partners to identify and combat conscious and unconscious bias.

There is much work to be done and it will take some time to address everything. The DEI Task Force intends to take a mindful approach to gathering information, utilizing internal and external resources, and providing value to our organization and its members. We want to be sure that we are in this for the long run, not just short term fixes.  And we are open to addressing any potential long-standing, perhaps deep-seated issues that will require careful consideration and an effective change management strategy.

NSP’s DEI Task Force

Julie Stone (Central Division), Task Force Chair

NSP Board Members
Richard Yercheck (Southern Division)
Donna Gardino (Alaska Division)
Liz Dodge (Pacific Northwest Division)

NSP Division Directors
Chris Ross (Alaska Division)
Tom Byron (Southern Division)
Shelly Urben (Pacific Northwest Division)

NSP Staff
Ellen White
Beckett Stokes

Members At Large
Christina Saunders (Rocky Mountain Division)
Chuck Lollar (Southern Division)

Ex Officio
NSP Board Chair

About contacting the DEI Task Force
NSP’s DEI task force wants to hear from NSP members. We know that an important part of our process is listening.  We welcome comments and suggestions and direct experience from all of our members.  Your experiences and our commitment can together generate concrete ideas about how the NSP can be an inclusive and welcoming organization for all of our members.

You can contact us via email: DEI-NSP@nspserves.org. We will review every message sent to this address, and compile them. Our task force of volunteers will not be able to respond to every message, but we will aggregate responses based on their general themes and specific stories.  This information will guide our discussions as a group and help us work through recommendations for improvement in leadership, programs, membership, and, in fact, throughout our entire organization. We will respect confidentiality, and will not reveal your name, patrol or other information in open discussions.

    • Your comments and ideas will have the most impact if they are directed to the entire task force via the email address above, rather than directly to one or more of us individually. In this way we can assure that we are all listening, learning  and working collaboratively to change our culture together.

NSP members can attend open task force meetings. You can find more information about these on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion page of the member website.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resources

The Outdoors
Breaking Down the Lack of Diversity in Outdoor Spaces, by Naomi Humphrey, National Health Foundation, July 20, 2020
Can we render the outdoors truly inclusive? by Sahra Ali, Sierra, July 22, 2020
Why representation matters, by Rachel Olzer, Bike Mag, June 29, 2020
Code Switch Podcast: Being ‘Outdoorsy’ when you’re black or brown, NPR Podcast, June 8, 2016

Bring more diversity to skiing, by Julie Brown, Powder, January 19, 2017
Bobby Johnson makes history as Vermont’s first Black ski school director, by Clare Menzel, Powder, January 11, 2021
Open letter on diversity in our sport, US Ski & Snowboard

Where is everyone else? by Mandela Echefu, Ski Patrol Magazine, Fall 2018
Interview with Mark Hardy and Mandela Echefu, Fall 2020
Time to Expand, by Eryka Thorley, Ski Patrol Magazine, Fall 2020