BRUNSWICK, Maine – As part of its continuing work in regard to diversity, equity and inclusion, the Bowdoin College Athletic Department has announced its participation in a pair of important ongoing initiatives.
The department has engaged anti-racism educator Jen Fry for a series of five workshops and is participating in a 21-Day Ally Challenge program, sponsored by the New England Small College Athletic Conference in conjunction with Women 2.0 and em|PACT Strategies.
“We are excited to partner with our fellow NESCAC institutions in support of important allyship work within each of our communities,” said Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan. “The 21 Day Ally Challenge, along with the partnership our department at Bowdoin has with Jen Fry, will help our staff serve as informed allies for underrepresented athletes on our teams going forward.”
A collegiate coach for more than 15 years, Jen Fry runs the social justice education firm, JenFryTalks, which presents workshops designed to empower athletes, coaches and staff members through an anti-racist lens on the issues of race, inclusion, intersectionality, diversity and equity. In five workshops over the course of the remainder of the academic year the Department will have facilitated sessions about a variety of topics, including; Understanding of Personal Macro & Micro Perspectives, Implicit Bias, Leading with an Anti-Racist Lens, Microaggressions, and Whiteness. In addition to her work with staff, Fry will also conduct workshops with all Bowdoin teams during the second semester.
The department’s work with Jen Fry will be complemented by the NESCAC’s 21-Day Ally Challenge, an online program designed to create an understanding of what it means to be an ally for people from underrepresented groups. The curriculum aims to connect and educate participants on the concepts of allyship and empower them to speak up in support of others. The program is co-sponsored by Women 2.0, a company focused on gender, diversity, and inclusion in the tech and startup spaces, and by em|PACT Strategies, a social change firm that provides practical insights for building better habits that foster more empathetic and inclusive communities.
The continuing DEI work is part of a department-wide effort that included the creation of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and the “Bowdoin Athletics – Building and Supporting an Inclusive and Diverse Athletic Community” action plan.
After working with so many athletic departments and sports organizations across the country, Dr. Jen Fry noticed that a lot of the folks tasked with doing diversity,