Like so many of us, Hannah Hawkins has been following the conversation about inequity in equestrian sport and seeking out a meaningful way to contribute. “I want to do something that’s actually helpful … what is that?” she asked herself. “I feel strongly that I would love to do something but I don’t know what to do.”
Hannah Hawkins and Didgeridoo at Fair Hill International in 2018. Photo by Jenni Autry.
The upper-level Maryland eventer said she saw the announcement about our Nation Media 1st Annual Diversity Scholarship on Eventing Nation, which was later met with matching donations from Stable View and Katherine Coleman. It occurred to her that she could “just reach out.” She emailed us and offered to contribute another $1,000 to the fund, bringing the total to date to $5,000 — five times its original amount.
The Scholarship calls for contributions to the discussion about diversity and inclusion in equestrian sport from minority equestrians — you can view full details here.
“This was the smallest thing I could do to help encourage discourse and push some funds toward people who are not as fortunate as others,” Hannah says.
Wondering how you can help? Just reaching out is a great start.
For real change to occur, it’s not enough for us to comment on Facebook or wait around for someone else to tell us what to do. We can all play a role, now, in helping to create a more diverse and inclusive sport. From donating to or volunteering with an organization that is doing good work to engaging the broader community in myriad ways, the onus is on all equestrians to help build a bridge of access. In the coming days, with input from a panel of equestrian diversity experts, we’ll be outlining some action-based outreach strategies for individuals and groups to get you started.
Every step forward is a positive one, and you never know when it will start a chain reaction!
Go reach out today. Go Jumping!