4th Tom Bass Seminar on Diversity in Equestrian Sports to Stream Worldwide via YouTube and SQITV

 The 4th Tom Bass Seminar on Diversity in Equestrian Sports will be held as an online webinar on Saturday, February 25th from 12:00 noon (UTC 17.00.00) to 2:30 p.m. (UTC 19.30.00) Eastern Standard Time. The virtual meeting will examine issues relating to diversity in domestic and international sport.

A live feed of the meeting will be available worldwide via YouTube and SQITV.

First launched in 2019, as part of the annual Day of the African Equestrian (DOTAE) celebrations, the seminar takes place in a climate of political, commercial and societal disruption highlighted by questions over migration, police brutality, reparations, cultural and economic imperialism, “wokeness” and a widening gap between “the haves” and the “have nots” in the United States and other countries.

The first portion of the seminar will honor recent achievements of note. Victories celebrated will include (but are certainly not be limited to) those of:

– Mimi Gochman – USA representative in the 2022 FEI Youth Equestrian Games (Team Gold Medalist and Individual Bronze Medalist) – selected to the U.S. Nations Cup Team (Jumping) for Vejer de la Frontera CSIO3* (Spain) and Vilamoura CSIO3* (Portugal)

– Jefferson “Tot” Goodwin, MFH – Champion – 2022 MFHA National Foxhound Performance Trials Championship

– Jad Guerraoui (Morocco) – Silver Medalist – 2022 FEI Youth Equestrian Games Individual Competition

– Muthoni Kimani (Kenya) – Winner, 2022 FEI Against All Odds Award

– Mia Rodier-Dawallo – Champion – 2022 U.S. Para Dressage Championship

– Pape Seck (Senegal) – Chef d’ Equipe – Team Africa – 2022 FEI Youth Equestrian Games

– Mavis Spencer – selected to the U.S. Nations Cup Team (Jumping) for the 2022 Vejer de la Frontera CSIO3* (Spain) and Vilamoura CSIO3* (Portugal)

– Thomas van Rijckevorsel (South Africa) – Gold Medalist – 2022 FEI Youth Equestrian Games Individual Competition

– Dressage South Africa Solidarity Stars Project – Winners of the 2022 FEI Solidarity Award

– Team Africa – Bronze Medalists in 2022 FEI Youth Equestrian Games Team Competition

The webinar will also highlight several significant initiatives towards diversity.

Nonprofit organizations and equestrian sports federations from throughout the world are invited to submit a short (3 – 5 minute) video or PowerPoint presentation outlining highlights of their efforts towards Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). No commercial messages please!

All materials should be submitted to: marketing@SportsQuestInternational.com and must be received by Thursday, February 23rd.

A legendary American Saddlebred trainer, Tom Bass (1859 – 1934) was born enslaved in Columbia, Missouri. He played a prominent role both in the establishment of the American Royal Horse Show in Kansas City and in the promotion of the city of Mexico, Missouri as the “Saddle Horse Capital of the World.”

Highlights of his extraordinary career include championships at two World’s Fairs and more than 2,000 blue ribbons. For many years he was the only African-American permitted to compete at the American Royal.

The Tom Bass bit, developed to give the rider control without causing pain to the horse, is still in use today.

Melvin Cox, Managing Director of SportsQuest International, LLC and a Lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz will serve as moderator of the seminar.

The 4th Tom Bass Seminar will be powered by JitsiMeet – a fully encrypted, 100% open source video conferencing solution.

Topics to be explored during the 4th Tom Bass Seminar on Diversity in Equestrian Sport include:

– Demystifying horse sport – not for rich kids only… Reviving equestrian heritage in lower and middle income communities

– Developing broad-based community support for equestrian activities at all levels

– Building sustainable programs that support diversity in the horse industry

– Incorporating the lessons gleaned from social activism into the ways in which we do business

– Leveraging (new and traditional) media in horse focused education and promotion

– Developing stories that more accurately reflect the life experiences of equestrians of color

– Incorporating the rich equestrian heritages of non-white, non-European communities (including African, African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Native-American, Romani, South Asian and others) into our shared equestrian narrative

– Supporting entrepreneurship within the equestrian marketplace

SQITV (SportsQuest International tv) – powered by YouTube, is the digital content delivery service of SportsQuest International, LLC.

YouTube is a global online video sharing and social media platform headquartered in San Bruno, California. A subsidiary of Google LLC, YouTube has more than 2.5 billion monthly users who (as per the company’s official blog) collectively watch more than one billion hours of videos each day.

The Tom Bass Seminar series is presented by The AFRICAN CONNECTIONS Research and Education Fund, Inc. in association with SportsQuest International, LLC.

SportsQuest International, LLC
Leslie De Bique



  • Society

Diversity and Inclusion at BT

By Jackie Beer, Director of Diversity & Inclusion

At BT, we’re working to build a business as diverse and vibrant as the communities we serve. We have around 100,000 people in 180 countries. We believe in fairness, equality and respect for human rights, but of course, it’s what we do and how we act, not just what we believe, that really matters.

A year ago, against the backdrop of growing demand for action to address issues of systemic racism and prejudice, we launched our Ethnicity Rapid Action Plan (ERAP), focussing on the four key areas where we felt we could make the biggest initial difference:

  • Educating and empowering our people
  • Accelerating diversity within
  • Leading by example
  • Building transparency

For us, this was about building on the existing plans we had in place and challenging ourselves to be better, go further faster and build a better BT.

In the last 12 months, we’ve worked with our Ethnic Diversity Network to influence and accelerate the pace of racial equality at BT. To better understand diversity at BT, we carried out a successful People Data Campaign in 2020 which saw an increase in ethnicity declaration rates to 79%.

Progress to date

  • Educating and empowering our people: We’re rolling out a new programme of mandatory race awareness training for everyone in BT. A mix of thought-provoking interactive workshops, digital modules and local activation through team based ‘Let’s Talk about Race’ sessions.
  • Accelerating diversity within: We’ve strengthened our partnership with the Aleto Foundation and we’re creating a new, fast-stream for high potential people from ethnic minority backgrounds. We’ve also recently launched a talent programme for managers which includes additional support for women and our ethnic minority colleagues to help us take positive action to level the playing field.
  • Leading by example: Our reverse mentoring programme which gives our Executive Committee and other senior leaders the opportunity to be mentored by colleagues from a different ethnic background has been running for nine months. This September will see us launch the next round of partnerships.
  • Building transparency: Today, we published our Diversity & Inclusion Report, which contains our first Ethnicity Pay Gap Report, our update on Black inclusion and diversity targets to support our 2030 ambitions.

Alongside our focus on ethnicity, we’ve worked hard to increase diversity and to reduce our gender pay gap which is now significantly lower than that of the telecommunications industry as a whole; we’ve continued to support our LGBTQ+ colleagues, becoming gold sponsors of Pride in London; and as proud signatories of The Valuable 500, we’re helping to put disability on the business leadership agenda.

So, what next? Throughout 2021 and beyond, we’ll be looking to increase our diversity declaration rates and through our Disability Rapid Action Plan we will provide the additional focus and resource needed to accelerate the pace of progress and achieve better outcomes for disabled colleagues, those with a long term health condition, impairment or neurodiverse condition.

We’ll also hold ourselves to account and will monitor progress against our 2030 ambitions and workforce diversity targets. We’re delighted to be a gold sponsor of Pride in London and through our Hope United campaign against online hate we are tackling unacceptable language and behaviours that have absolutely no place in an inclusive, respectful society.

We’re developing a broader, pan BT diversity and inclusion programme with a clear focus on attracting and retaining diverse talent. The breadth of the programme means we’re also ensuring that diversity and inclusion are core foundations in our customer and supply chain strategies and we’ll leverage our position as one of the world’s leading communications services companies to influence change that helps us all connect for good.

I hope you can see that we’re making progress – but understanding and changing an organisation like BT isn’t easy. We’ve made a good start, but there’s much more to do. We’ll continue to listen to our people, build on the progress we’ve made so far and double down on our commitment to make sure that all our colleagues feel included at work.

To find out more visit www.bt.com/diversity-and-inclusion