Today USTA Florida unveiled the AMPLIFY Project, a long-term initiative to engage and amplify the Black community in tennis throughout the state of Florida. The initiative is a product of numerous open discussions among staff, coaches and volunteers that have identified areas where USTA Florida can, and must, do more to advance racial equality in tennis.
“USTA Florida announced today the creation of AMPLIFY to advocate for social justice and equality for all,” said USTA Florida President Clark Higgs. “It is particularly important that we do so because we are aware, but do not readily admit, that tennis is not now, nor has it been, immune to discrimination against all of our minority populations. Every tennis player should strive to welcome everybody to the game of tennis and be inclusive in every respect.”
The AMPLIFY project, headed by USTA Florida Diversity and Outreach Coordinator Ronald Lyons, is a state-wide effort to listen to and amplify Black voices, while also engaging and serving up more tennis opportunities to Black communities in Florida. Through this project, USTA Florida will gain valuable feedback and input from our Black communities and work alongside them to develop meaningful, actionable ways to address inequalities. At the same time, the project will offer USTA Florida staff and volunteers comprehensive training and education on inclusivity.
“By elevating Black voices inside and outside our organization, we hope to break down the racial inequality in tennis. As an organization, it is time to stop and listen. Once people are heard, the real change can happen,” said Lyons. “The lack of diversity is apparent, and certain steps must be taken to see a difference. I know our AMPLIFY Project can be the shift needed to help move our tennis community forward.”
The AMPLIFY Project is designed to connect with all aspects of the tennis community. The goal is to work together to create long-standing impacts on the Florida tennis community for decades to come.
“I’m proud of our staff for having difficult and uncomfortable discussions about what we need to do better to address racial inequality in tennis. But conversations alone aren’t enough. We must work with our partners to listen and commit to meaningful action. We must make it a priority every day in everything we do. Our team is eager to do that,” added Laura Bowen, USTA Florida Executive Director.
For more information on USTA Florida’s AMPLIFY project, please visit www.USTAFlorida.com/amplify.