Shanye Crawford Named New EDI National Outreach Director

Posted: January 9, 2020 09:20 AM

Colorado Springs, Colo. (Jan. 9, 2020) – USA Ultimate, the national governing body for the sport of ultimate in the United States and member of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, is excited to announce the appointment of Shanye Crawford to the youth division’s national volunteer structure as the new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) National Outreach Director. Crawford is the first person to assume this role after the position was established late last year.


In her new advisory role, Crawford will support the introduction of the sport of ultimate to racially and ethnically diverse youth populations in the United States. She will assess USA Ultimate's current outreach structure and work alongside the girls' national outreach director and national outreach director to provide an EDI lens for existing and continued outreach work. Additionally, she will help provide guidance as to how the current outreach programs, procedures and resources should be modified and/or supplemented to improve the delivery of our youth ultimate outreach to more diverse communities.

Crawford was first introduced to ultimate in her junior year at the University of Georgia (UGA).

A 16-year ultimate veteran as a player and coach, her playing resume includes multiple appearances at the D-I College Championships with UGA and the National Championships with club teams Atlanta Ozone and Atlanta Bucket. Internationally, she has also competed in two world championship events: the 2006 World Ultimate Club Championships with Ozone and the 2018 World Masters Ultimate Club Championships with Seattle iRot. On the sidelines, Crawford has coached ultimate teams at The Paideia School, Grady High School and Georgia Tech.

"I am very excited to take on the role of EDI National Outreach Director. My interest can be summed up in line with the position acronym: 

Equity: In order to have balance, both sides of the equation must be addressed.

Diversity: A community's strength is in the sum of its parts; to perpetuate a limited perspective is socially irresponsible.

Inclusion: Once those within the community come together to consider their culture, social dynamics, etc., room can be made to invite and retain new members.

Outreach: Let's shift the burden of responsibility. Rather than saying, 'Come join us,' let's practice meeting people where they are."  

Crawford describes herself as a dynamic director of team operations, community outreach and culture, as well as an advocate for the social utilization of sports to create equitable opportunities for underrepresented and underserved communities. Working with AFDC: Project Diversity, a committee she helped establish, Crawford is on a mission to desegregate ultimate in the Atlanta area. In the summer of 2019, she and her committee organized and hosted The Color of Ultimate: ATL, an ultimate showcase game featuring elite players of color from around the world, with the goal of raising awareness of the racial and socioeconomic inequities in ultimate and bringing exposure of the sport to those outside the ultimate community. She also led the organization of a nationwide Color of Ultimate: ATL watch party and designed curriculum for ultimate organizations, teams and players around the country to faciliate important discussions on revitalizing the ultimate community and the culture of the sport as a whole.

Additionally, Crawford's exceptional skills in working with youth stem from her 10 years as a teacher at both The Wesleyan School in Norcross, Ga., and The Paideia School in Atlanta, Ga. Outside of the subjects she taught (French and Spanish), Crawford focused heavily on fostering community in her classrooms where open communication was celebrated and mistakes were embraced. She also worked with her students on relationship building, problem solving and learning how to be good friends and teammates. 

Crawford's admiration of the sport and excitement over the community have only increased since her college ultimate days. Currently, she is both a player and the Director of Operations for the Atlanta Soul, one of the women's professional ultimate teams in the newly-founded Premier Ultimate League (PUL), and is extremely passionate about extending the benefits, resources and life-changing experiences the sport and the ultimate community gave her to more youth who look like her.

If you would like to get involved in the development of youth ultimate by volunteering in your area, visit USA Ultimate’s Get Involved page for job descriptions. You can see a complete list of open positions at