We stand with those who fight for equality and justice for Black people in America. We emphatically support the statements made by the Chancellor’s office and Isenberg when we condemn all forms of hate, prejudice, and discrimination. We pledge to continue to educate ourselves and our students on how systemic racism manifests in the sport industry and society, ways to change oppressive systems, and specific steps we can take to enact change. We will continue to engage in the difficult conversations, in our classrooms and department sponsored events, so that we can learn and grow together. Finally, we ask that you hold the faculty accountable to our pledge to make McCormack an anti-racist department, and that you join us in our efforts toward this goal.
To that point, here are some of the things we are doing as a department to address these societal issues:
Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. We have a committee of McCormack faculty, staff, and students who are tasked with implementing programs and initiatives to enhance diversity and inclusion within our department. This committee also advises the department on how to allocate funds and scholarships that support students from marginalized and underrepresented populations. Moving forward, the task force will more intentionally examine issues related to race and ways we can improve. We will do so by collecting climate assessments and feedback from our students to implement data-driven solutions.
Course Curriculum and Content. We currently have three classes that specifically cover issues related to race and racism in sport—Sociology of Sport & Physical Activity, History of Sport & Physical Activity, and Diversity and Inclusion in Sport Organizations. We also do not shy away from these conversations in our other courses, as there are pointed discussions on the effects of systemic racism in Sport Law, College Athletics, Sport Leadership, Sport Policy, Sport Finance, and Sport Marketing. To further explore these topics, many students elect to focus their group projects on these issues or pursue independent studies to gain even greater understanding. As a faculty, we will continue to critically assess our course content to ensure our students get materials that enhance their understanding of how race influences the sport industry.
Research focused on Race in Sport. Drs. Todd Crosset, Nicole Melton, and Nefertiti Walker research issues related to race in sport. Their work has been published in top peer-reviewed journals (e.g., Journal of Sport Management, Sociology of Sport Journal) and presented to national and international sport governing bodies (e.g., NCAA, FIFA). Drs. Melton and Walker are currently working on a number of research projects that focus on race in sport, and are in the process of launching the Laboratory for Inclusion and Diversity in Sport (LIDS). Students (present and past) are encouraged to help with these projects if they have an interest.
Programming and Events. Led by our student clubs, particularly the Association for Diversity in Sport, our department has supported a number of workshops, invited speakers, and open conversations related to race in sport. In addition to student-led events, the department named renowned activist and race scholar, Dr. Harry Edwards as the McCormack Executive-in-Residence in 2017. Most recently, the McCormack Sport Leaders Forum in NYC hosted a panel discussion on Diversity and Inclusion in Sport. We will continue to ensure that our department’s programming and events are not afraid to tackle the issues of race and equality.
As Dr. Walker said, “We encourage our students, staff and faculty to exercise their right to speak against the injustice they see in our society, and we implore you to join us in being part of the solutions. These resources will guide and support you in your quest for equity.” Please reach out to Associate Department Chair Nicole Melton (email@example.com) or Isenberg’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion Alaina Macaulay (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions or concerns.