Monday, February 22, 2021

Dear Fencers Club Members,
In honor of Black History month, we'd like to take a moment to reflect on our past, present and future. This is a time for celebration and recognition of the many contributions and achievements of the Black community throughout our nation's history, and also a time to pay tribute to generations who persevered in the face of prejudice, racism, and discrimination - injustices that continue to exist in our society today.
This is an opportunity for Fencers Club to acknowledge and recognize the courage, tenacity, and accomplishments of the many Black fencers who have made significant contributions and continue to shape our sport today. During this month and beyond, Fencers Club will recognize some of the phenomenal Black fencers that have been part of our fencing community and helped make our club what it is today. 
US fencing's long and storied history features a multitude of significant chapters authored by Black fencers. Many of these great Black fencers paved the way for the stars of today. They fought for equality and became trailblazers in the sport. Uriah Jones, Ruth White, Peter Westbrook, Ed Ballinger, Edward Wright, Tyronne Simmons, Robert Cottingham, Sharon Montplaisir, Peter Lewison, Phil Mathis, Mark Smith, Mika'il Sankofa, Dean Hinton, Akhi Spencer-El, Erinn Smart, Keeth Smart, Kamara James, Ivan Lee, Herby Reynaud, Daryl Homer, Maya Lawrence, Miles Chamley-Watson, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Jason Pryor, and Nzingha Prescod are just some of the many stars and leaders who continue to open doors for future generations. 

Certainly, one month cannot cover all the people and events that highlight the significant role that Black fencers have played in US fencing history. Over the next week, we will share the stories of some of the Black leaders and fencers that have made a difference within the Fencers Club community. Please look out for these stories across our communications channels - we hope you will find them as inspiring as we do.
We recognize that we have much more to do to make systemic change at our club and in our sport, and understand that the work to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive club for our members is ongoing. Over the past several months, our DEI Committee has helped us move in the right direction to build a sustainable foundation for the well-being of our club and we look forward to continued growth and progress.

Fencers Club

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