Ebony Ice Ski Club (EISC) is a Milwaukee-based non-profit organization founded in 1989 by a group of Three African American skiers with the intent to promote skiing and other winter sports to youth of color. EISC is part of a larger organization known as the National Brotherhood of Skiers (NBS), founded in 1974 and recognized by the ski industry as one of the largest ski organizations in the United States with 60 clubs representing 43 cities.
As part of its mission, EISC hosts individual club trips and also participates in annual regional events such as Winterfest and Summerfest where you can experience great skiing, lively entertainment and networking with countless new and old friends. In addition to these events, NBS offers members the opportunity to participate in its largest ski convention in the U.S. known as the Summit. This event features a full line-up of evening parties, concerts, formal dinners, non-ski activities, and youth camp. Packed into one week of fun and entertainment, the Summit is an exhilarating event you don’t want to miss!
Not a skier?
No problem. EISC welcomes you to participate in activities throughout its cool spring and summer months such as biking, camping, bowling, and other various outdoor recreation.
Youth Ski Program
EISC offers youth ski and snowboarding lessons to individuals ages 4-18 through its Learn-2-Ski Program. Known as “Ice Cubes,” youth members get the exciting opportunity to learn how to ski through four consecutive weeks of fun and falls!
General List of Yearly Events
Here's just a 'taste' of what's happening in Ebony Ice Ski Club! Hope you can join in for these events in the future!
* Jan/Feb: Learn-2-Ski & Snowboard program Package
* Jan/Feb: Learn-2-Ski, Awards Ceremony & Banquet
* Feb: Mini Regional Summit
* March: Community Service Fundraising Event
* March: Day Ski Trip to North/West Wisconsin Area
* April: Youth Activity Event such as Indoor Trampoline Park
* April: Annual National Brotherhood of Skiers Summit in the Mountains
* May: Cards, Beverages & Fellowship Get-together!
* June: Outdoor Event such as a Bicycle Trip along Lake Michigan!
* July: Annual UNCF Walk/Run for Education & Cook-out!
* July: Brewers Annual Negro Leagues Tribute Game & Tailgate Party!
* August: Jazz 'N the Park Concerts
* Sept: Open House
* Dec/March/June/Sept: Business Club Meetings
* Dec:Combined Networking & Holiday Party
National Brotherhood of Skiers (NBS)
History as told by Founders Art Clay and Ben Finley
At a time when African Americans on the ski slopes were a rarity and black ski clubs were an exception, Ben Finley and Art Clay were not deterred from their vision to create a national Black Ski Summit. The two founders met in 1972 after being introduced by a mutual friend while Finley was President of the Four Seasons West Ski Club of Los Angeles and Clay was Trip Director of the Sno-Gophers Ski Club of Chicago. They moved forward with a proposal to bring together 13 black ski clubs for an event which was called “A Happening”, but was later changed to “Black Summit,” at the suggestion of a member of the Jim Dandy Ski Club of Detroit. The Black Summit would represent black skiers coming together at the summit of Ajax Mountain. The purpose was “to identify and discuss problems and subjects which were unique to the black skiing population, ski and socialize”, according to Finley.
The Historic gathering took place in Aspen, Colorado in 1973 and was attended by over 350 skiers. There was an overall sense of camaraderie that pervaded the event and this same feeling is still significantly associated with all Black Summits. The images of this occasion will forever stay in the minds of those who witnessed this event. As the East Coast met the West Coast, there were discussions of Teo Hyde of Chicago who was recognized as an aspiring contender for a position of the U.S. Ski Team. The formation of the national organization was set for Thanksgiving weekend in 1973 in Salt Lake City, Utah. At a meeting of the club leaders, it was proposed that the primary purpose of the organization would be to place a black skier on the U.S. Ski Team. This mission was unanimously embraced by those in attendance. Thus, began the commencement of the first national organization of predominantly Black ski clubs. The National Brotherhood of Skiers was chartered in 1974 and incorporated as a non-profit organization in Illinois in 1975. It received its 501(c)3 designation in 1978.
Black Ski Summit ’75 was hosted by the Sno-Gophers Ski Club and was held in Sun Valley, Idaho. Over 750 skiers attended. The clubs in attendance elected Ray Mott of Black Ski, Inc. as the NBS’ first President.
History continued to be made with the NBS as Olympian, Bonnie St. John-Dean was the winner of two Bronze and combined Silver medals at the 1984 Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria. Jahi Rohrer of Denver and Andre & Suki Horton of Anchorage competed in the U.S. National Championships. The NBS progress continues.
More recently, NBS member and US Disabled Team member, Ralph Green competed in the 2006 Winter Paralympics in Torino, Italy and 2010 in Vancover, Canada. Errol Kerr has been a member of Team NBS since 2000 and until 2009 when he joined the Jamaican Ski Team to compete in the Vancouver Olympics.
Today, the organization has grown to 60 clubs representing 43 cities and a membership of 3,000. The NBS is recognized by the ski industry as one of the largest ski organizations and its Summit as the largest gathering of skiers and riders, more than any other ski convention in the United States.