Jen Fry came to American University to lead a conversation with all of our student-athletes and coaches. She kept the attention of this group of 250+ from start to finish. Jen was engaging and entertaining, but, more importantly, she helped our students and coaches to widen their perspectives on race, diversity and inclusion. Through powerful imagery and examples, Jen allowed our department to establish definitions and a shared language to discuss these important issues and find ways they can begin to be racism disruptors rather than neutral bystanders. I would definitely bring Jen back to work with us in the future!
From the moment that I spoke to Jen Fry on the phone to her campus visit to her sessions with my staff and our students, I knew that I was in the presence of a person who was not afraid to take people out of their comfort zone in an effort to have a “real” conversation about topics and subjects that we all too often want to avoid. With an energy and a willingness to be vulnerable, Jen challenged us to open ourselves to conversations about how our best intentions may be non-inclusive. She made people think. The true testament to Jen’s impact on our students and staff during her visit was the fact that she sparked conversations between coach to coach, coach to staff member, coach to student-athlete and student to student for several days after her time with us. Jen gets you to think and not to shy away from talk that helps us grow. If one values growth and development for their students and colleagues, reach out to Jen. You will not be disappointed.
We invited Jen Fry to speak at our Women Leaders in College Sports Institute for Administrative Advancement this year, and she was phenomenal. Jen is an engaging speaker with rich content on the issues of race, inclusion, diversity, and intersectionality. She’s armed with knowledge and led us through a powerful discussion while challenging us to look through a different, more inclusive lens. She created brave space, connected with the audience, and encouraged listeners to expand their thinking. We look forward to having Jen back in the near future.
“As a collegiate volleyball coach and person of color, I have been lucky enough to help create a Black Student-Athlete Huddle at my university. With this new position, I found myself a bit lost in the ways of talking to and educating our athletic administrators on the issues that involve black student athletes and ways that we can better support them. I also didn’t know how mentor to these amazing young people, and what my role is in helping and empowering them to be great. With all of this happening – I knew I had to call Jen. With her knowledge, passion, experience and understanding, she was a clear first call for me, and she absolutely did not disappoint! We had great communication on ways that I can help my administration better help this specific group of athletes, and how I can better educate myself in the process. Her timely and detailed response was exactly what I was looking for – not to mention her pure passion for what she does makes it an awesome and enlightening conversation to have! I would highly recommend Jen Fry to anyone looking to educate themselves on current racial issues, engage in meaningful conversations on social justice or looking for ways that they can get involved to help change the current narrative as it pertains to people of color in our world. She has truly helped educate me, mentor me, and help me with ideas that are drastically changing our athletic department for the better! Explore her blog, start a conversation with her, educate yourselves and always keep searching for solutions to the questions that haven’t found an answer yet, because without people like Jen Fry – nothing will change, and that’s simply unacceptable.”
“The first day of our recent WBCA convention, I attended a workshop and roundtable discussion presented by Jen Fry on Diversity and Inclusion. I told some of my coaching peers that if the convention would’ve ended after that, I would have gone home satisfied! The issues and discussion points that Jen spoke on are real and very relevant hot topics that are critical for us as coaches to be aware of as we interact with our student athletes. You could feel the discomfort in the room, and this is where the real growth began to take place. It wasn’t just the subject matter that was captivating but it was in how Jen presented it. Her engaging, energetic, witty delivery was a compliment to her actual knowledge of the material and her ability to make it relevant for our profession. The entire presentation flew by and everyone in attendance left more educated and enlightened.”
“Jen is absolutely amazing and the manner in which she takes very difficult and contentious topics like race, racism, bias and implicit bias and creates a brave space for honest discussion is incredible. Words matter and hers are thought provoking and inspiring. Jen’s honest approach and injection of humor encourage connection and discussion; I left each program feeling more enlightened and ready to recognize how simple adjustments to everyday interactions can begin to create the change we need in this world to have more meaningful interactions and relationships. I would recommend her to any group or organization that embraces and values diversity as well as creating a culture of inclusion.”
I have had the privilege of listening to Jen Fry speak on multiple occasions. Jen is a fierce, passionate, and creative scholar. She has a great sense of humor, and brings energy and engagement to her presentations and writing that center around inclusion, diversity, and equity. Jen makes solutions practical, and I have been able to incorporate the material into the lives of the student-athletes that I serve. Most recently, I had the privilege of listening to Jen’s presentation on student-athlete fellowships. Not only did I retain new thought provoking knowledge; I left inspired to create new opportunities for my student-athletes.
“Coaching and teaching a team of 50 diverse women, poses many challenges in communication, respect, and expectations! Jen really helped these ladies to understand that each persons background and experiences has impacted their lives and how much race affects these things. Her honest, and approachable personality really allowed our team to be honest and brave communicating with each other. Jen truly has a gift! She has empowered these women with knowledge and skills for life!”
Every season you have a new team dynamic and you have players from different parts of the country and world coming together to learn and compete. We decided to bring Jen in to meet with our ECU Volleyball team to encourage a brave space for our athletes to grow and respect the differences they share instead of just focus on their similar interest – which is obviously volleyball. Jen was the perfect choice because she has the volleyball background as a coach and player. Her communication style is very candid and real. We were able to accomplish a lot in 3 hours. I would recommend her to any group or team that wants to provide an inclusive environment to work and play in.
When an opportunity arose for me to discuss institutionalized racism and social justice in my law school class, I knew I needed to turn to Jen. Just a short conversation with her opened my eyes not only to the historical basis for the subject of my discussion, but also to related issues that had not previously occurred to me. The result was a conversation that was richer and better received by my students.
Jen was a pleasure to work with! She was extremely committed to being sure all content details were thought out and in place prior to presenting. When it was time to present, her passion and knowledge around the subject matter was evident and could be felt throughout the room. Hoping we have a chance do work together again some day!
During preseason of 2018, we hired Jen Fry to conduct a discussion with our team on race, racism, and inclusion. The Skype session was so well received by our athletes and they benefitted greatly from the role playing and small group work. It was instrumental in uncovering some pre-conceived biases in our athletes, as well as the staff. Jen really made difficult discussions feel normal, and created an awareness and understanding in our team that was lacking before. This season, our culture and togetherness was the best it has ever been, and it helped lead to our best season in school and conference history.”