Diversity & Inclusion

Form a clear vision of results-oriented change and make needed connections in the department, the campus and the community.

Four new organizations have been formed within Athletics to develop strategies that will enhance the understanding of racial equality:

  • Leadership Council on Diversity and Inclusion
  • Student-Athlete Council
  • Staff and Coaches Council
  • Black Student-Athlete Association

Each of these groups is working to help us create an equitable and transformational athletics program. We will measure and track the results of all efforts toward a more inclusive and diverse environment. This web page contains educational resources, web site links and videos that provide more information about our mission.  We will maintain a consistent communications presence to inform, educate and inspire everyone to be allies in this critical movement.

COUNCILS

Leadership Council  

NAME TITLE
Stephanie Rempe, Chair Executive Deputy Athletics Director/COO
Bennie Brazell Assistant Coach, Track & Field
Ashleigh Clare-Kearney Associate AD, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Dr. Ashley Clayton Assistant Professor, School of Education
Fran Flory Head Coach, Volleyball/Council Liaison to Head Coaches
Bill Franques Sr. Associate Communications Director
Walt Holliday Executive Director, Academic Center for Student-Athletes
Eddie Kennison Director of Player Development, Football
Dr. Lori Martin Professor/Faculty Athletics Representative, LSU Dept. of Sociology and African & African-American Studies
Dr. LaKeitha Poole Director, Student-Athlete Mental Health
Courtney Randall Director, Tiger Life
Milan Stokes Athletics Human Resources Manager
Shaeeta Williams Coordinator of Athletics Administration
Purpose

Chart a path of sustainable progress toward a clear vision of results-oriented change in the area of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I); serve as a leadership body; make needed connections in the department, campus and the community.

Goals

Goal One: Enhance the understanding of racial equality 

  • Step One: Survey department staff/coaches and student-athletes to assess current level of understanding
  • Step Two: Implement training program for staff and coaches
  • Step Three: Create a Coach and Staff Diversity and Inclusion Council whose goals are directly tied to staff diversity education.
  • Step Four: Create a Student-Athlete Diversity and Inclusion Council whose goals are directly tied to student-athlete diversity education.
  • Step Five: Survey department staff/coaches and student-athletes to assess level of understanding and incentive after implementing educational programming

Goal Two: Measure and track the results of all efforts toward racial equality 

  • Step One: Create a repository to capture all data and progress, including but not limited to student-athlete racial demographics, graduation rates, all hires, community service hours, etc.
  • Step Two: Track communication engagement through social media platforms.
  • Step Three: Track student-athlete, coaches, and staff participation in internal and external D&I educational programming.
  • Step Four: Include measured and tracked data from all three councils’ goals.

Goal Three: Increase the number of underrepresented/marginalized individuals in coaching and staff leadership roles

  • Step One: Hire a senior level administrator who has a primary responsibility of diversity and inclusion in the job description
  • Step Two: Create a Coach and Staff Diversity and Inclusion Council whose goals are directed at impacting the recruitment, hiring, training, development and retention of underrepresented/marginalized individuals in the Athletic Department and tracking the results.
  • Step Three: Create and support professional development opportunities for underrepresented/marginalized individuals
  • Step Four: Provide resources, external to athletics, for marginalized coaches and staff to seek support and serve as advocates

Goal Four: Evaluate Department Strategic Plan / Mission / Values from a D&I perspective

  • Step One: Review and revise all internal department strategic plans, mission statements, and values from a D&I perspective
  • Step Two: Provide visibility to department’s statements on D&I messaging

Goal Five: Increase the number of Black contractors/vendors utilized by the department, and track the results 

  • Step One: Work with campus to grow the list of Black contractors/vendors
  • Step Two: Train the athletics staff on the outreach and selection of Black contractors/vendors
  • Step Three: Track and evaluate athletics spending with all underrepresented vendors/contractors annually
  • Step Four: Increase the spending with Black-owned businesses department-wide
  • Step Five: Provide an opportunity to promote Black-owned businesses to the community

Goal Six: Sponsor and host an event designed to show LSU Athletics’ commitment to D&I and the movement for racial equality. 

  • Step One: Select a group to create an event that makes a significant impact
  • Step Two: Determine the expected outcome and track the results

Goal Seven: Serve as a department leadership council 

  • Step One: Create awareness of the council through staff announcements, website presence and communication
  • Step Two: Create a communication channel for staff, campus and the community to report, examine, and promote topics and issues related to D&I
  • Step Three: Enhance communication with campus on athletics D&I initiatives
Purpose

Chart a path of sustainable progress toward a clear vision of results-oriented change in the area of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I); serve as a leadership body; make needed connections in the department, campus and the community.

Result

Inclusive, equitable and transformational athletics program.


Student-Athlete Council  

NAME TITLE
Courtney Randall, Chair Director, Tiger Life
Aliyah Andrews Student-Athlete, Softball
Bruce Buggs Assistant Director, Student-Athlete Mental Health
Earl Chevalier Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach
Ashleigh Clare-Kearney Associate AD, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Damone Clark Student-Athlete, Football
Tamara Davis Coordinator, Football Defensive Operations
Alexandria Ham Graduate Assistant, Tiger Life
Ashley Johnson Director of Player Development, Women’s Basketball
Lindsay Leftwich Assistant Coach, Softball
Dr. Lori Martin Professor/Faculty Athletics Representative, Dept. of Sociology and African & African-American Studies
Tasmin Mitchell Assistant Coach, Men’s Basketball
Miriam Segar Sr. Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator
Keava Soil-Cormier Assistant Director, Football Recruiting Operations
Purpose

The Student Athlete Council on Diversity & Inclusion works to provide an equitable and supportive experience for LSU student-athletes across all identity markers through recognizing challenges and mapping out frameworks for diversity & inclusion-related matters.

Result

A program that educates, serves and celebrates student-athletes in matters of diversity & inclusion.


 

Coach/Staff Council

 

NAME TITLE
Ashleigh Clare-Kearney, Chair Associate AD, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Michael Bonnette Associate AD, Communications
Andy Brandi Head Coach, Men’s Tennis
Cory Couture Athletic Trainer, Baseball and Men’s Golf
Ericka Lavender Associate Director of Academic Affairs, ACSA
Stephanie Johnston Director of HR, Tiger Athletic Foundation
Sharon Lewis Assistant AD, Football Recruiting & Alumni Relations
Addison Martinez Account Executive, Sports Properties
Shelly Mullenix Sr. Associate AD, Health & Wellness
Wendy Nall Assistant AD, Human Resources
Kevin Nickelberry Assistant Coach, Men’s Basketball
Milan Stokes Athletics Human Resources Manager
Flo Williams Manager of Facilities and Grounds
Goals

Goal One: Implement mandatory educational opportunities for coaches and staff to further their understanding of diversity and inclusion. 

  • Step One: Collaborate with Dialogue on Race Louisiana to allow coaches and staff to participate in the community programming
  • Step Two: Facilitate interactive sessions covering uncomfortable topics regarding race (examples: kneeling for the national anthem, the Black Lives Matter movement, Jim Crow laws, separate but equal, police brutality, etc.) Examples of these sessions include, but are not limited to:
    • Host speakers to discuss social justice
    • Facilitate dialogue with individuals who have been personally impacted by racial inequality
    • Host book club discussions
    • Host movie watching opportunity and discussion
  • Step Three: Create an annual diversity education training program with a certificate of completion
  • Step Four: Build a digital diversity and inclusion resource library to be accessible to student-athletes, coaches, staff, and the community
  • Step Five: Assessment of diversity and inclusion understanding and departmental efforts integrated into all employee evaluations

Goal Two: Create a hiring manager training program to directly impact the recruitment, hiring, training, development and retention of underrepresented/marginalized individuals.

  • Step One: Collaborate with the Office of Diversity on training workshops
  • Step Two: Create accountability process for hiring managers
  • Step Three: Include an inclusivity/diversity statement on each job posting
  • Step Four: Create hiring advocates to utilize for all open positions
  • Step Five: Create a review process to evaluate hiring process after each hire
  • Step Six: Create a program to require coaches and staff to continuously provide names of potential candidates for any athletics jobs to grow a database of underrepresented candidates

Goal Three: Increase the number of underrepresented coaches in the athletics department 

  • Step One: Track the racial demographics of full-time coaches
  • Step Two: Evaluate the Russell Rule and Rooney Rule for potential implementation
  • Step Three: Utilize hiring manager training
  • Step Four: Ensure hiring practices that align with the goals created by the Diversity & Inclusion Councils.
  • Step Five: Implement a formal retention and promotion program designed to focus on underrepresented coaches

Goal Four: Increase the number of underrepresented staff in the Athletics Department 

  • Step One: Track the racial demographics of full-time staff
  • Step Two: Evaluate the Russell Rule and Rooney Rule for potential implementation
  • Step Three: Utilize hiring manager training
  • Step Four: Ensure hiring practices that align with the goals created by the Diversity & Inclusion Councils.
  • Step Five: Implement a formal retention and promotion program designed to focus on underrepresented staff

Goal Five: Implement an orientation program designed to provide a welcoming, informative and educational opportunity for new employees and their families 

  • Step One: Email introduction of new employees with details about the individual and his/her family to create dialogue and connections among staff.
  • Step Two: Provide a contact for new employees outside of their department
  • Step Three: Create a required diversity educational component for all new employees
  • Step Four: Formalize the onboarding process for new employees to encompass the Athletic Department diversity statement and other Diversity & Inclusion Councils’ initiatives within welcome packets

Goal Six: Implement a professional development program designed to provide opportunities for underrepresented employees

  • Step One: Formalize a program that encourages personal and professional growth that includes sharing the tools and experiences learned through growth opportunities with others at LSU
  • Step Two: Create mentorship and shadowing opportunities within the Athletic Department
  • Step Three: Provide information about and encourage participation in external leadership development opportunities
  • Step Four: Formalize a program that ensures staff leadership is aware of career aspirations of underrepresented coaches and staff

Goal Seven: Promote voter registration and voter turnout initiatives 

  • Step One: Educate coaches and staff on the history of voting and the electoral college
  • Step Two: Promote voter registration
  • Step Three: Promote “Get Out the Vote” (GOTV)
  • Step Four: Acknowledge and celebrate voter participation

Goal Eight: Create a departmental culture where employees feel appreciated and valued 

  • Step One: Implement culture climate exit interviews for employees
  • Step Two: Implement a way to celebrate employees and their accomplishments (i.e.: employee of the month)
  • Step Three: Implement a diversity component on all employee performance evaluations
  • Step Four: Create team/department building social support and connections
  • Step Five: Create health and wellness programming
  • Step Six: Implement formalized annual retention check-ins with employees to assess experience
Purpose

To further our understanding of diversity and inclusion through education while integrating inclusive practices into hiring, training and development, retention, and promotion. To be intentional and deliberate in our pursuit of equity and equality. To serve as the eyes and ears of department staff and coaches to bring forth, explore, and resolve issues and concerns.

 

Result

A transformational place to work, inspired by the diversity of its employees and the support of the inclusivity of its culture.

MILESTONES

 

1965: First Black Tiger Band member (John Sibley Butler)


1969: First Black baseball player (Henry LeBoyd)


1970: First Black track & field athlete (Lloyd Wills)


1971: First Black wrestler (Joe Lee Lott)


1974: First Black LSU basketball player (Collis Temple Jr.)


1972: First Black LSU varsity football players (Lora O. Hinton Jr. and Mike Williams)


1972: First Black male gymnast (Mike Carter)


1972: First Black Tigress Pom Pom (Elma Walker)


1974: First Black quarterback for LSU (Carl Otis Trimble) [1974-76]


1975: First Black volleyball and women’s basketball player (Joanette Batiste Boutte)


1975: First Black cheerleaders (LaDeta Crawley, Herman Harris and David Verdun)


1975: First Black NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Champion (Larry Shipp: 120y Hurdles)


1976: First Black NCAA Indoor Champion (Allen Misher: 60m Hurdles)


1978: First Black softball players (Myra Burrell Brown and Paula Edwards)


1978: First Black female tennis player (Kyle Copeland Muse)

1980: First Black Golden Girls (Paula Jackson and Saundra Mims)


1980: First Black female gymnast (Debra Ross)


1985: First Black female NCAA Track & Field Outdoor Champions (Sheila Echols, Michelle King, Michele Morris, Angela Phipps: 4x100m Relay; Camille Cato, Michelle Morris, Wendy Truvillion, Schowonda Williams: 4x400m Relay)


1987: First Black female NCAA Track & Field Indoor Champions (Sheila Echols: Long Jump; Sylvia Brydson, Wendy Truvillion, Schowonda Williams, and Danyel Wofford: 4x400m Relay)


1988: First Black Track & Field Olympic Gold Medalist (Sheila Echols: USA: 4x100m Relay)


1991: First Black Head Coach at LSU (Tony Minnis: Women’s Tennis)


2000: First Black female soccer players (Fallon Buckner and Somalia Lindsay)


2004: First Black Women’s Basketball Head Coach (Dana “Pokey” Chatman)


2007: First Female Assistant Athletics Director for Football Recruiting & Alumni Relations (Sharon Lewis)


2008: First Black Men’s Basketball Head Coach (Trent Johnson)


2012: First Black Men’s Golfer (Chuck Spears)


2014: First Black beach volleyball players (Mylan Eugene, Briana Holman, Khourtni Fears)


2017: First Black Director of a Mental Health & Sport Performance Department in the SEC (Dr. LaKeitha Poole)


2020: Establishment of the Black Student-Athlete Association (BSAA) (Founding Members: Domonique Davis (WBB), Aundre Hyatt (MBB), Charles Lewis (T&F), Xavier Mulugata (T&F), Akiya Thymes (SB), and Jurnee Woodward (T&F)

 

Did we miss a significant first or departmental milestone?
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