Following several months of dialogue with student-athletes, coaches and staff, the Bowdoin Athletic Department has released its Building and Supporting an Inclusive and Diverse Athletic Community Action Plan. The plan, like those developed by all Bowdoin teams over the first six weeks of the fall semester, is a living document and will be updated at least semi-annually.
While developing the action plan, the athletic department benefited considerably from feedback provided throughout the summer by the Bowdoin Athletes of Color Coalition and its leadership team, and especially from its Bowdoin Athletic Department Diversity Reform document.
“It became clear during conversations with the AoCC leadership team over the summer months that we have work to do with respect to formalizing our ongoing education of staff and student-athletes, focusing dialogue on race and inclusion on impact within our community at Bowdoin, sharing of information regarding resources in several areas for students, and more clearly communicating our values with respect to inclusion and diversity,” said Ashmead White Director of Athletics, Tim Ryan. “I am very grateful for our partnership with the AoCC and its leaders’ commitment to making Bowdoin a better place.”
A sampling of the steps the department has taken in recent months to begin this work include:
- Designating Assistant Athletic Director Katie Greene as the department Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator. Katie’s work in support of DEI initiatives includes years of work at the Center for Inclusive Leadership and Social Responsibility at Pine Manor College and teaching first-year seminars at multiple institutions on inclusive leadership and social responsibility.
- Created a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee with representation from across our community, including student-athlete leaders from the AoCC and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.
- Modified staff liaison to the AoCC structure to provide enhanced support to the group going forward
- Hosted a workshop for all student-athletes entitled “Real Talk on Race and Athletics – Preparing for the Conversation”
- Hosted a workshop for coaches and staff with anti-racism in athletics educator Jen Fry entitled “Building a Culture of Inclusive Excellence”
- Updated our Student-Athlete Handbook to provide more clear guidance for student-athletes based upon feedback from the AoCC
- All Bowdoin teams and the department developed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Plan
“Our efforts to develop and maintain an inclusive community within our athletic programs have renewed focus and we look forward to continuing to hear the voice of our students and working with our coaches and staff to ensure challenges from our past do not continue in the future,” Ryan said. “This is not a one day, week or month commitment. It is an everyday commitment to the work by our department.”