As I have been listening, learning and investing in the work, it has become abundantly clear that as a society, we have a lot of unlearning work to do when it comes to systemic racism. Part of the unlearning process is to acknowledge the problem (racism) and to hold ourselves accountable for our roles, especially if we have remained silent; to remain silent is to be complicit and complicity is harmful.

A notable silence has been the palpable silence held by the ski mountains of Maine — an industry that is historically enjoyed by white people. When I asked why it had remained silent, Sunday River returned that it wasn’t corporate policy to speak on political or social issues and, “to keep communication focused on skiing and the enjoyment of the mountains.” Many others have not responded, but continue to post and push their products/offers, as if it were business as usual.

However, not everyone in the ski industry is remaining silent and some are speaking out. The US Ski & Snowboard Team and (closer to home) Ski The East have both released statements acknowledging the whiteness of skiing and how they share the responsibility to correct the racial injustices of society.

While it might not seem like the ski community’s problem, that in itself is the problem. Silence implies an unbothered stance on racism.

I invite the ski mountains of Maine to no longer remain silent; to come forth and publicly show their support of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color).

Emily Blackwood, Auburn

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