INDIANAPOLIS— In an effort to help shape future diversity and inclusion efforts within higher education and intercollegiate athletics, the NCAA will host its first Inclusion Summit, Monday, September 19 in Indianapolis.
Titled “Challenges, Champions and Collaborative Strategies Moving Toward a More Inclusive Culture,” the summit will bring influential leaders in higher education and advocacy groups together to engage in a dialogue that identifies measurable action-oriented outcomes and strategies. The goal will be to advance an inclusive culture in intercollegiate athletics and higher education.
“The Inclusion Summit provides the NCAA with an opportunity to have face-to-face contact and dialogue with individuals in our membership and individuals from a variety of perspectives who can help us create and further inclusive policies and practices within the Association,” said Bernard Franklin, NCAA executive vice president of membership and student-athlete affairs and the national office’s chief inclusion officer.
“With this first-time event, we will hear issues in detail and work toward possible solutions. We’ve had the opportunity to reach out to some specific groups to get their feedback, which we believe were the first steps to having a successful summit. Now we all come together to work toward change, which we believe will benefit our student-athlete population and hopefully all of higher education.”
The first part of the program will focus on identifying and discussing challenges. Topics will include student-athlete disabilities; challenges for minorities; issues regarding gender equity; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) issues and challenges.
College and university presidents will lead the second section on successful best practices used in championing diversity and inclusion on their college campuses. The third section will focus on attendees contributing to the development of a strategic plan that would seek to strengthen diversity and inclusion by building presidential engagement, enhancing the student-athlete experience and identifying the role of the national office in program identification and delivery.
In addition to Franklin, NCAA president Mark Emmert will provide the welcome and opening comments. Other speakers include Eli Wolff, fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University; Ken Shropshire, professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Wharton Sports Business Initiative; Donna Lopiano president, Sports Management Resources, LLC; Pat Griffin, professor emirata, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and sports project consultant, The Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network; John Peters, president, Northern Illinois University; Susan Martin, president, Eastern Michigan University; Javier Cevallos, president, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania; and Raynard Kington, president, Grinnell College.