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In honor of Black History Month, here are five examples of ways we're strengthening our Diversity & Inclusion efforts.
1. Our Diversity & Inclusion statement
The American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) is committed to creating an engaging, safe, and inclusive environment. We welcome people from all backgrounds and believe by embracing diverse perspectives, we are better equipped to accomplish our mission of developing golf’s next generation.
While we provide a platform for junior golfers from around the world to earn college golf scholarships, we value developing great people first. Our programs focus on respecting the history, traditions and etiquette of the game, giving back and personal growth.
Our internship seeks to diversify the golf industry. We recruit quality young men and women from all walks of life who bring their passion to work every day. We provide training and hands-on experiences that open doors to careers in golf, sports and the business world.
Our values are clear. We show up on time. We share a great work ethic. We start early and end late. We solve problems by bringing a spirit of cooperation to work every day. We put the juniors first. We believe we cannot thank those enough who generously support our efforts.
2. Increased recruitment at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
We've actively recruited our internship program to HBCU schools across the United States in recent years. Whether it's on campus or virtually, here are just a few of the schools we've recruited at:
- Morehouse College
- Clark Atlanta University
- Spellman College
- Albion College
- Bowie College
- Lincoln University
- Howard University
- Florida A&M University
- North Carolina HBCU Career Fair
In addition, the AJGA participated for the first time in the National HBCU Career Fair held virtually in the fall of 2020.
We've also worked with partners like PGA Works, Women in Golf Foundation, Golf Women Mean Business and HBCU golf coaches to help educate students on the career opportunities available to them. A full list of our partners can be found here.
3. Black Golf Directory collaboration
The Black Golf Directory was founded by former AJGA player Jamie Taylor to elevate and promote African Americans in the golf industry. Their website provides the names and faces of current tour players, certified golf instructors, golf coaches, high school players, HBCU golf teams, businesses, and junior/amateur organizations. In addition, Black Golf Directory provides national junior events and scholarships.
As part of our recruitment efforts, our Director of Training and Development Lauren Shelly had a virtual discussion with Taylor regarding the AJGA Internship and other opportunities in golf.
In addition, 2018 operations intern Kyle Brown joined Taylor to discuss his experience working in golf, as well as the skills he gained through the internship program.
4. African American Golf Expo & Forum support
We're sponsoring and participating in the first African American Golf Expo & Forum later this year. The four-day event is forecasted to attract over a thousand participants, including new and experienced golfers, exhibitors, industry professionals, manufacturers, suppliers, media members, and golf industry executives. The expo will take place August 21-24 in Atlanta.
5. HV3 Foundation partnership
We partnered with PGA TOUR player Harold Varner III and his HV3 Foundation last year to host his inaugural AJGA tournament. The Harold Varner III Foundation Junior All-Star was held at Tanglewood Park and featured 78 of the best junior golfer in the world between the ages of 12-15.
Varner III launched the HV3 Foundation in 2018 in an effort to give back to less fortunate kids who could greatly benefit from increased access and opportunities in sports. The foundations aims to provide financial assistance for equipment, after school programs, instruction, camps, and various other avenues where an athlete can cultivate his/her passion.
The Harold Varner III Foundation Junior All-Star furthered that commitment by splitting the event's proceeds 50/50 between his foundation and our Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program, which provides financial assistance to young men and women who aspire to earn a college golf scholarship through competitive junior golf. In total, $30,837 was donated to charity.
This year's tournament will take place the week of June 28 - July 1, 2021. For our full tournament schedule, click here.