Player POV: Slim Ford

BBV Founder Wendy Jones meets volleyball athlete and social activist Slim Ford of New Orleans who discusses as a black woman feeling exclusion at times, and her push to develop more inclusive diversity in the sport.

Speaking up is not easy. That is exactly why I loved the spirit of this conversation with Slim Ford, New Orleans native, activist and beach volleyball player. She and I agree that you will never get the best out of someone if they don’t feel included as a part of the community. What happens in our psyches when we leave people out, or treat them differently than we would like to be treated ourselves? Not only does Slim love to play volleyball, she is an advocate for growing the game among the African American population, as well as LGBT and anyone who wants to play but until now has felt like they are on the outside looking in. I have felt firsthand the difference in how we can be treated based on the way we look or a particular skill set we have but life is so much better and more connected when we look deeper to understand someones story and how it has made them the person that they are today. In just a brief conversation with Slim, I saw that she has the capacity to include others and grow the game. Now, how can we replicate that point of view so that it can spread like wildfire throughout the volleyball community and into the world? An attitude and action of inclusion starts with each one of us.

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