Diversity, Equity & Inclusion - USTA Southern California




USTA Southern California strives to be a model of inclusivity and equity as we bring competitive, social and fitness-oriented tennis programs to Southern California residents. We are fully committed to making tennis accessible to diverse and underserved communities so that they may experience and enjoy the life-long benefits of the sport. Our investment in the players and organizations who serve these communities allows USTA SoCal to extend our reach across the section, recognizing and supporting young and talented players who have the potential to use tennis as a vehicle for obtaining a college or vocational education, or a professional career.

As an organization, we stand firmly alongside progressive organizations which seek to eradicate historical wrongs, working in tandem towards a community where every person is afforded boundless ability to thrive. We believe all of these things will improve our SoCal tennis community and create a stronger industry with better prospects for future success, both on and off the tennis court.



In June 2023, USTA Southern California embarked on an initiative to provide an opportunity for all of our stakeholders to participate in the inaugural Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Audit. The purpose of the audit was twofold: 1) to help us get a snapshot of important demographic information in the section, and 2) to get specific feedback on the level of interest in, knowledge of, and support for our current DEI efforts and future strategies.

More information regarding the results of the audit will be released soon. Click the link below to read the audit’s summary statement and key takeaways.


Operate programming with an understanding of cultural differences to ensure our programs and events are enjoyed by everyone.

Create strategic partnerships with organizations and companies that are working in diverse communities and ensure diverse suppliers are a part of our sourcing and procurement process.

Cultivate and support tennis programs and events where the primary objective is to create access to the sport for under-resourced communities.

Recruit and retain a diverse workforce throughout the SoCal tennis industry that includes volunteers, coaches, officials, and tournament directors.

Reflect and represent the true diversity of Southern California in our front-facing content and materials.

Establish a workplace culture that is inclusive, collaborative, and brings to bear the talent and diversity of our staff.



The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee of USTA Southern California was formed to provide a voice for issues relating to DEI in the tennis community, as well as to advise, guide and collaborate with USTA SoCal toward increasing diversity and inclusion among players, coaches, and other members of the SoCal tennis industry.

Esther Hendershott

Director of Community Tennis

Andy Schwich
Manager of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Carlos Cruz-Aedo
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee Chair

Committee Members – Nadia Abdala, Justin Belisario, Damu Bobb, Gabrielle Clark, Jerome Jayapal, Lorena Martin, Anthony Montero, Doris Obih, Ryan Redondo, Henry Reyes, Xavier Rodriguez

USTA Southern California DEI Committee


USTA Southern California supports the development of six players by providing DEI Youth Grants and connection to USTA SoCal’s Junior Pathway and Player Development programs. The objective is to inspire players to maintain a productive childhood and adolescence that is directed toward graduating from a four-year college and/or a professional tennis career.

– Priority will be given to families in need of financial assistance. (Proof of income requested.)

– The applicant must be between the ages of 10-18.

– Applicants must reside in the Southern California section.

– Must have a valid USTA membership (membership is free for juniors).

– Players should be a ranked player or a rostered high school/middle school team member.

– Applicant and parent must maintain a clean bill of sportsmanship in tournament play.

– They may use funds for tournament fees, equipment, training  camps/lessons, or a college fund.

Applications are due by February 4, 2022.
Late entries will not be accepted. 

All applications will be reviewed by an assembled review committee. 

Two boys and two girls will be selected for each tier: 

Tier 1: $2,500 each 

Tier 2: $1,500 each

Tier 3: $1,000 each

Expectations of our grant recipients include:

– Must participate in at least two Player Development Camps and specific tournaments selected by USTA SoCal.

– Player/Parent grant recipient meeting with DEI Committee.

– Awardees will also become members and participate in the Youth Leadership Council (YLC) of USTA SoCal.