It all started exactly two years ago – December 2021. Domeda Duncan and Mark Giles, transplants to Utah and Co-Founders of OurSundays, wanted to have a holiday gathering for their network of relocated Black people calling Utah home at the time. The event was so popular that it catapulted into a series of different events. Think karaoke, movie nights, and cookouts… you get the idea.
By then, both Duncan and Giles went through Ski Utah’s Discover Winter program. They were instantly hooked. They learned a new skill, got a different perspective of Utah’s majestic mountains, and couldn’t wait to share it with more people of color in the state.
What the two had started with their meetups quickly became official, and OurSundays was born. (More on the name later in the blog.) With the Discover Winter program completed, a network of other newly minted skiers and snowboarders, Duncan and Giles connected with the National Brotherhood of Snowsports (NBS) about bringing their mission of promoting skiing and snowboarding among people of color to Utah.
It turns out that NBS was waiting for people like Duncan and Giles to make it happen. With goals aligned, the OurSundays Ski and Board Club was created, and is now a member of the National Brotherhood of Snowsports, making it the official NBS chapter in Utah – after two decades since Utah had a chapter.
“What the mountains and outdoor recreation has done for me, that is a gift. I want other people to experience that, and I want them to give that to others.”
The National Brotherhood of Snowsports is the largest organization dedicated to promoting skiing and snowboarding among people of color. Established in 1973, the NBS has been instrumental in fostering a sense of community and providing opportunities for athletes of diverse backgrounds to excel in winter sports.
When talking about her experience learning to ski through Discover Winter, Duncan said, “What the mountains and outdoor recreation has done for me, that is a gift. I want other people to experience that, and I want them to give that to others.”
Giles added, “What’s important is exposure and accessibility; once you have that, you can provide the gift of legacy.”
Having officially formed in September, Duncan and Giles are thrilled that almost 65 OurSunday Ski and Board Club members are enrolled in Ski Utah’s Discover Winter program this season. The two have been busy securing sponsorships and partnerships, recruiting members, and planning ski and board trips to several of Utah’s resorts (hoping the new Discover Winter “graduates” will join them this winter).
The name OurSundays came about because Sundays in the Black community are always for family, good food and fun with friends. Duncan and Giles wanted to create that space and bring pieces of those home elements to the Black community here in Utah. OurSundays is open to anyone who expresses interest. Paying members ($50/annual fee) have access to ski and snowboard discounts and other benefits.
(This information will not be shared)