CCACSA Holds Open Forum on Diversity, Inclusion
BATON ROUGE, La. – Back in March, the LSU Baseball team participated in an open dialogue regarding the importance of racial diversity. What is important to note is that every LSU athletic team, coaches, and staff participated in diversity and inclusion training. The trainings are a part of the holistic approach to student-athlete development and cultural competence.
Maxine Crump, President/CEO of Dialogue on Race in Louisiana, wanted the team to be trained in “how race figures into every aspect of their roles in society.”
Crump presented this racial diversity training in a two-hour seminar, and Crump says, this session only began to introduce the topic of racial diversity. In order to be effective, Crump suggests a series of these seminars so they can connect what they learn in the sessions to their everyday lives.
Brent Sumler, Manager of the Shaquille O’Neal Life Skills Program at the Cox Communications Center for Student-Athletes, stated “We are living in a world that is evolving and becoming more inclusive. This is a great opportunity to educate our student-athletes on the uniqueness of other cultures so they can be a more productive citizen once they leave this institution.”
Crump said that she would like to see universities recognize that each athlete will be in high demand following their collegiate career, and her goal is to help these athletes become prepared with key life skills.
The athletes already have great skills going into their post-collegiate careers “such as being great as working as a team, have great leadership abilities and excellent decision making skills. They also have great timing, are highly motivated and very enthusiastic,” said Crump.
It is Crump’s hope that her seminar will open their eyes to diversity and that the student-athletes have a better understanding of the intersectionality of race, gender, age, ethnicity and gender identity and expression in order to understand, contribute, and benefit society.
The Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes is a 54,000 square foot facility comprised of academic affairs, student affairs and an information technology teams, serving more than 530 student-athletes. The purpose is to provide an all-inclusive, student-centered support structure for all student-athletes from matriculation, through graduation and life beyond.