USA Diving’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council Announces Finalized Mission Statement

Photo Courtesy: USA Diving

Earlier this year, USA Diving formed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council consisting of staff members, athletes, coaches and thought leaders. These individuals have been working together to address diversity, equity and inclusion as they impact USA Diving and its members and to help identify opportunities for improvement. The Council’s first goal was to put together a Vision Statement that will be used to drive subsequent strategic initiatives in this space.

After receiving and reviewing the feedback submitted by our community, the council has made adjustments to their initial draft of the vision statement and published the finalized version.

USA Diving Diversity Equity and Inclusion Vision Statement:

USA Diving is committed to supporting and fostering diversity, equity and inclusion among its athletes, coaches, judges, staff, members and fans. We recognize that diversity, equity and inclusion are multifaceted and that we need to address these subjects holistically to better engage and support all groups, particularly those who have been historically marginalized and underrepresented. We also recognize that differences in age, race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, physical ability, thought, background, and those based on other social identities bring richness to the sport of diving and the USA Diving community. 

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This commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion means that:

  • USA Diving will not tolerate discrimination based on gender, race, national origin, sexual orientation or any other social identity category and/or defining characteristic. 
  • USA Diving will cultivate and support an inclusive culture and environment, through programming and education, where all individuals regardless of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, nationality, age, marital and family status/makeup, medical condition/health status, ancestry, and citizenship are supported and able to succeed.
  • USA Diving will allocate resources to fostering equitable and inclusive participation for all athletes as well as growth opportunities for athletes, coaches, judges and staff from diverse backgrounds.

As a community, we believe that sport can be a catalyst to promote positive change in people and society. Because of this, it is our responsibility as the national governing body for the sport to lead the charge in identifying and removing the barriers that prevent USA Diving from being the diverse, equitable and inclusive community that we know it can be.

With this vision in mind, the council has outlined six strategic priorities to focus on as the organization works towards achieving our vision. The council will then form working groups to create and implement action strategies that will drive progress and change.

USA Diving Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council Strategic Priorities (in no particular order):

A.) Increase the presence of women in leadership roles (e.g. coaches, judges, Board Members, mentors, etc.) 

B.) Increase the representation of racially minoritized populations within leadership roles (e.g., coaches, judges, Board Members, mentors, etc.)

C.) Increase the availability of training materials and educational resources for members of USA diving focused on equity, diversity and inclusion.

D.) Create equitable opportunities for long-term participation among racially minoritized populations and in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas.

E.) Facilitate an inclusive environment for all members of the USA Diving community, particularly those who identify as members of historically marginalized groups (for example, LGBTQ+ individuals, individuals with disabilities, etc.)

F.) Optimize the policies and procedures of USA Diving to better align with and to support executing the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Vision Statement

If these priorities resonate with any individuals in our community who would like to become involved, please complete our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion participation form and we will give you additional information on how you can become part of a working group.

Additionally, the council has appointed a Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary to lead the council moving forwards.

Manny Pollard, a former All-American diver and current coach at University of Illinois will serve as council chair. As one of the few Black divers and coaches in our community, Pollard has used his influence to instill dialogue to combat racism and promote diversity, equity and inclusion both within the USA Diving community and greater sports community.

Of his appointment, Pollard says, “Diving and diversity and inclusion are two things I am passionate about. Having the opportunity to put them together with the hope of creating a more inclusive and welcoming environment for members of USA Diving makes me optimistic for the future.”

Max Showalter, former D1 athlete for Purdue University and current High Performance Squad member will serve as Council Co-Chair. Showalter is an energetic activist in the LGBTQIA+ community. Max works as a social media strategist in San Francisco CA, and currently moderates the USA Diving podcast “The Lineup”.

Emily Richmond, MPH, will serve as secretary. Richmond is a former collegiate diver and NCAA DI diving coach who currently serves as a FINA-certified official for USA Diving and is a Masters diver. Emily works as a regulatory strategy consultant in the healthcare field and lives in San Francisco, California.


Other members on the council are:

Dr. Atira Charles (Parent of Diver and DE&I Professional)

Joey Cifelli (Athlete)

John Fox (Coach and Former Diver)

Kelly Fox (Director of Marketing and Communications, USA Diving)

Kristen Hayden (Athlete)

Dr. Yannick Kluch (DE&I Professional)

Diane Maiese (Coach and Former Diver)

Lee Michaud (President, USA Diving)

Joelle Williams (Athlete)

Mike Wright (Coach and Former Diver)

To view full bios on council members, visit:

For more information on USA Diving’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion council and for additional resources, please visit:

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with USA Diving. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact

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