ASCEND recognizes that, as a for-profit climbing gym, we benefit from more people climbing. We also recognize that it is our prerogative to support resources for our customers and member base, at our expense, not yours. However, 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 all at once that we believe needs to change.
Throughout our time in business, community members have contributed money, gear, or inquired about donating, and we want to transparently and responsibly put those resources to good use. So, we’ve set up this fund with the sole focus of improving equity in this space.
We intend to spend this fund towards:
Improved financial accessibility to climbing/outdoor spaces
Supported admission options
Supported pricing for programs for youth to attend camp or team, outdoor climbing trips, and more!
Support to rent or buy climbing shoes or gear
Transportation for certain special events and groups
Events and programming around JEDI topics
These events will only include equity initiatives, which include looking at issues of access, affordability, race, gender.
Ex. Paying for guests during our Affinity Sessions, or if we held a panel to discuss gender in competitions, paying someone to be the moderator.
This program will NOT pay for, which instead fall squarely on ASCEND’s shoulders:
Staff trainings or any internal DEI initiatives
Wages for anyone on staff
***As we continue to develop these parameters, we promise to exercise extreme discretion.***
ASCEND will also strive to make regular contributions to the fund.
ASCEND promises to make a good-faith effort to make meaningful contributions. Additionally, ASCEND promises to subsidize the E+O fund when it's underfunded, which since its inception has been the case. In practice, this just means that we aim to not place limits on the number of people utilizing Supported Admission and Programs options.
Next steps for our team:
[ON TRACK] Increase online automation for usage to reduce friction.
[WORK IN PROGRESS] Regularly present fund snapshots to illustrate sources, disbursements, impacts, and future goals.
[WORK IN PROGRESS] Expand services to better include subsidized gear purchases for more people in need.
[WORK IN PROGRESS] Put the E+O Fund toward more services outside of Supported Admission.
[ALWAYS AND FOREVER] Increase fundraising efforts and expand the program, so we can accomplish more!
We believe that this program is still in its infancy and that we have a long way to go. Your trust and support of this initiative is not taken for granted and we take this responsibility seriously.