Diversity and inclusion has been core to the mission of BKB since the day we first opened our doors back on September 9, 2009. On that day, we set out to create a place for climbers when there weren’t many options in New York, and from there was organically born a passionate and diverse community of people from all walks of life. Much has changed since then, but we keep Brooklyn in our name everywhere we go because Brooklyn means people – it means diversity, it means celebrating cultures from all around the world and a place where people can be free to express themselves.
Recently, one of our members wrote to us about experiencing disrespectful behavior towards them – a rarity in our overwhelmingly inclusive and welcome community. We want to take the time to remind our community not to lose sight of one of our core values. Everyone is welcome to get weird and be themselves at Brooklyn Boulders. Any exclusionary, hateful or divisive behavior is not welcome in our community.
We have always encouraged our members to propose ideas of how we can make our community, and — by small incremental changes — the world, a better place. Please check out our upcoming Punch It Out series at BKB Somerville, where trainer Piseth is leading classes for those who may feel powerless to feel empowered through strong physical movement. Or join one of our upcoming Brothers of Climbing meet-ups at our Brooklyn location, which is a group on a mission to make climbing more inclusive and diverse. Volunteer with our Adaptive Climbing Group in New York, Boston and Chicago. Crush with other ladies at our Climb Like a Girl workshops. Climb with the LGBTQ community at our Out to Climb Nights with local groups like CRUX in New York or Quick in Somerville. Connect with other entrepreneurs, network and attend panels with Startup Climbing.
Our walls have always been built to bring people together. This has been the intent for nearly eight years and counting. Our members, every one of you, make up our community and we are all the ones in power to evoke change. The next time you’re at BKB and about to hop on a climb, introduce yourself to someone new, or ask if they’d like some beta. Be conscious of others around you and remind yourself of how powerful human connection can be. You never know what you may learn from someone else, on and off the wall. Remember to be present with other people. You may find inspiration when you least expect it, and you may even inspire others around you.
As our community continues to grow and expand, we all must keep the Brooklyn spirit and welcome everyone to freely express themselves. As always, please reach out to us with any ideas on how we can improve, and for how you think we could make our BKB community even stronger, together.