STEVENS PASS, Wash. - A local woman created a program to give women of color more access to snow sports.
Annette Diggs got into snow sports about five years ago and started the program Edge Outdoors at Stevens Pass.
"When I go into a lodge, I’m the only Black woman sitting in the lodge," she told FOX 13 News.
Diggs said she didn’t see anyone that looked like her, from guest level to those who work on the mountain.
"When we close our eyes, and we imagine a skewed structure, the first thing that pops in their mind is like a white guy. And we don’t think of sometimes a woman being in that role."
Diggs said the lack of inclusion in snow sports is directly related to past discriminatory law at the local state and federal levels.
"I came from a very, you know, disadvantaged background, I came from a red line community. As a little girl being bused from my Black school district to white school district to gain equitable education," she said.
Where learning what the outdoors has to offer was just by word of mouth.
Diggs said she was exposed to the outdoors through a classroom setting and her peers.
As a young girl, she wanted to experience those outdoor adventures herself. She then became a ski instructor at Stevens Pass and created Edge Outdoors two years ago to bring more people who looked like her to the mountain.
"Edge (Outdoors) is my baby," Diggs said. "It’s the manifestation of my childhood dreams."
Edge Outdoors is a scholarship program for Black, Indigenous and other women of color.
It provides all the gear from helmets, skis, lessons, season passes, discounts for lodging and avalanche training.
"This is a sport that should be accessible for everyone," she said.
Ten candidates are selected each year and are required to write an essay about their background and experience.
"There’s people who’ve been skiing their entire life, but have yet to ski the mountain with a group of Black women or a group of Indigenous women," Diggs said.
The scholarship for next season launched in October. For information, click here.