US Equestrian will offer a new Community Conversations series dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). These DEI Community Conversations will serve as a forum for raising awareness about the various experiences and issues affecting equestrians from under-represented or under-served communities. The series aims to lift traditionally marginalized voices from the equestrian community, and beyond, while building community across the broad network of horse sport enthusiasts. DEI Community Conversations will be recorded and accessible on demand as an educational resource for USEF members. The series is an initiative of the DEI Action Plan’s comprehensive marketing plan strategy, one of 10 strategies to advance DEI in the sport over the next three to five years.
In honor of Black History Month, the DEI Community Conversations series will kick off with “Horses in Black Communities” on Monday, February 22, from 5-6:30 p.m. ET. Panelists Dr. Anastasia Curwood, Kareem Rosser, and Caitlin Gooch will discuss key moments in U.S. history for Black Americans and explore the impact Black Americans have had on the equestrian industry so far. The panelists will also speak to the value that horses and horse sports can bring to Black communities. The session will conclude with panelists responding to audience questions.
Click here to register and submit your questions in advance for DEI Community Conversations: Horses in Black Communities.
Meet the Panelists
Dr. Anastasia Curwood (Lexington, Ky.) is Associate Professor of History and Director of the African American and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky. Curwood earned her Ph.D. in History from Princeton University. Her work in 20th century Black history has been recognized with fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and the James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference at Emory University. She is Co-Chair of the United States Eventing Association’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and a founder of Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE). Curwood is a member of US Equestrian, competing her OTTB in eventing and dressage.
Kareem Rosser (Philadelphia, Pa.) is a financial analyst and the Executive Director of Friends of Work to Ride, the fundraising arm of the Work to Ride (WTR) equestrian program in Philadelphia. Under his leadership, the organization has raised more than $800,000 to support WTR’s lesson program and wraparound services. As a child, Rosser learned to ride and play polo through WTR, eventually leading their polo team to a national championship in 2011. They were the first-ever Black polo team to win the title. Rosser has played polo all over the world and has been featured on major national media platforms, including HBO, 60 Minutes, and ESPN.
Caitlin Gooch (Wendell, N.C.) is the founder of Saddle Up and Read, a program striving to encourage youth to achieve literary excellence through equine activities. Gooch is also the co-host of the popular Young Black Equestrians podcast. She is passionate about spreading love and hope in her local community through opportunities to connect with horses. (photo courtesy of Abriana Johnson)
Watch On Demand
“Horses in Black Communities” will be recorded and available to for USEF members to watch on demand with the USEF Network. Sign up for a free fan membership here using promo code inclusion21.