How to Implement Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Education in Your Youth Sports Organization
By Melissa Wickes
May 2, 2023
When you are truly invested in the mental health of your employees, you’re invested in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). What does this mean? DEI describes the policies and programs that an organization enacts to promote the representation of different groups of individuals—including different ages, races and ethnicities, abilities and disabilities, genders, religions, cultures, socioeconomic class/status, and sexual orientations.
There are many ways to implement DEI initiatives at your youth sports organization and when you do so, you’re ensuring that every member of your organization—regardless of how they identify themselves—feels included, supported, and able to thrive.
At LeagueApps, we learned a lot about how to support underrepresented members of the community by participating in a DEI program over the course of six sessions called RISE. RISE is a nonprofit that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial descrimination, champion social justice, and improve race relations. Here’s a little bit more about why RISE does what they do:
Throughout our sessions, we participated in conversations and exercises surrounding topics such as types of athlete activism, a privilege walk, bias, equity vs equality, and diversity. These workshops helped us to be intentional and active in our own DEI work at LeagueApps and how our own privileges and biases may affect the way we see and do things.
RISE works with athletes, coaches, and administrators at every level to help them address racism, prejudice, diversity, and inclusion in the sports world. While some of the conversations revolving around these topics can often be difficult, RISE helps create a safe and comfortable environment to discuss things like:
- Implicit bias
- Racial ideology
- Athlete Activism
Diversity Equity and Inclusion Resources for Youth Sports Professionals
If you’re not quite sure where to start on your DEI journey, that’s okay. You’re not alone. RISE has gathered a number of online, educational resources that can introduce you to their curriculum. These resources are an easy way to implement these kinds of conversations and learnings into your organization-wide meetings, as well as at team practices. Videos include:
What is Racism?
To access the rest of RISE’s Discussion Plans and Digital Modules online for free, click here.