BY LUKE REYNOLDS
VIDEO BY ADAM REIST, PHOTO PROVIDED
Across the rowing community, athletes and organizations are taking steps to support the fight to end systemic racism.
“We are heartened to see the outpouring of support you’ve [the rowing community] shown for Black communities while expressing an interest in listening and learning,” Philadelphia City Rowing said in a statement.
“We all have a responsibility to stop the systemic oppression and killing of Black people in our country and our communities. At this moment, it is particularly important to support and amplify the individuals and organizations leading this work. We have put together a list of resources that highlights some of these organizations and helps you learn more about actions we can take to change the larger societal injustices that must be addressed before any meaningful change can occur. Our friends at Row New York have also curated a list of mental health resources, educational materials about anti-racism, and ways to take action.”
In addition to Row New York and Philadelphia City Rowing, athletes within the rowing community are rallying their peers to support the same movement.
An Instagram profile with the handle @rowersforBLM was created earlier this week by a Central Ohio Rowing athlete with the hopes of raising funds to support the Black Lives Matter movement by selling buttons with a picture of oars, a Black Power fist, and the hashtag #BLM.
“I have always been someone who has been interested in social justice and politics, it’s a part of who I am, however, rowing is also a part of who I am as well,” creator of the account, Jordan Kavishe, said.
“I came to think about the lack of diversity in the sport that I love, rowing; I decided it was time to start the conversation, and I created the @rowersforBLM account. Many of my teammates have supported the black lives matter movement, and I just knew that there were more members of the rowing community who support the movement as well and strive for diversity in our sport.”
Kavishe, who designed the buttons personally, hopes the buttons will be a symbol within the rowing world.
“I would hope that everyone who has bought a button would wear it proudly wherever they choose to put it and show the world that they are a member of the rowing community who also stands with the black community.”
“I would hope that everyone who has bought a button would wear it proudly wherever they choose to put it and show the world that they are a member of the rowing community who also stands with the black community. Historically, rowing has been a sport that lacks diversity, however, I would hope that these buttons would be one of the many starting points which first start the conversation and bring solidarity, awareness, and further diversity to our community.”
Two Oakland Strokes junior rowing alumnae have planned an ergathon fundraiser to support Black-led organizations and local bail funds according to the @gostrokes profile. The ergathon will take place June 13 from 12-4p PST.