ASCEND recognizes that, as a for-profit climbing gym, we benefit from more people climbing in Pittsburgh. We recognize that it is our prerogative to support resources for our customers and member base, at our expense, not yours. That being said, as we strive to expand access to, awareness of, and a sense of ownership over outdoor spaces for youth and BIPOC (who haven’t had equitable access to those spaces), we cannot pay for everything that we believe needs to change, all at once.
Throughout our time, people have contributed money or inquired about donating, and we want to transparently and responsibly put those resources to use. So, we’ve set up this program, to be managed by a department with the sole focus of improving equity in this space.
We intend to spend this fund towards:
- Improved accessibility to climbing/outdoor spaces
- Ex. scholarships for youth to attend camp or team, support to buy climbing shoes or gear, extra programming to get people climbing outside
- Events and programming around IDEA topics
- These events will only include equity initiatives, which include looking at issues of access, affordability, race, gender.
- Ex. paying for guest instructors during our Affinity Sessions, or if we held a panel to discuss gender in competitions, paying someone to be the moderator.
- Community Advisory Board budget
- Ex. to plan events or initiatives
This program will not pay for, which instead fall squarely on ASCEND’s shoulders:
- Staff trainings
- Standard admission to ASCEND
- Food or materials for staff/CAB meetings, listening sessions, or events
- Wage for anyone on staff
- Running regular ASCEND youth programming (ex. Camps, Team, etc)
- Making changes to ASCEND’s operations that improve accessibility
ASCEND will make regular contributions to the program, accounted for within the quarterly budget. This amount will range with a cap of $2,500 for the program’s initial launch, which will hopefully grow in the future. Future contributions will be pre-determined annually, based on ASCEND’s financial status, and ASCEND promises to make a good-faith effort to make the largest regular contributions possible. The Director of Equity and Outreach will manage the fund by creating a quarterly budget, disbursing money and tracking expenses, and writing summary reports on what has been spent.
If you feel like you need help to do more in climbing — like buy shoes or learn to climb outside — email our Director of Equity and Outreach at [email protected]. We’re so excited to help you as much as we can!
THREE WAYS TO CONTRIBUTE
1. TO ADD A MONTHLY DONATION TO YOUR RECURRING MEMBERSHIP, SUBMIT YOUR REQUEST HERE. Just select "Other request - use additional comments below" and indicate how much per month you'd like to add to your membership billing.
2. TO BECOME A NEW MEMBER AND ADD A MONTHLY DONATION TO YOUR RECURRING MEMBERSHIP, BECOME A SUPER MEMBER HERE.
3. ROUND UP FOR EQUITY anytime you buy anything at the front desk, by rounding up your purchase to the nearest dollar. Simply let us know when you make a purchase!
4. MAKE A ONE-TIME DONATION