Since the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police last June, athletes, coaches and administrators within the athletic department have been involved in increasing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in athletics through events, team-based DEI programs and a number of new committees.
On March 26, President Clayton Rose announced a series of anti-racism workshops, to be delivered by the Racial Equity Institute (REI), that ran earlier this month on April 15 and April 24. The workshops, designed to build a dialogue as well as generate awareness regarding racial discrepancies in American culture, were a success, according to Benje Douglas, associate vice president for Inclusion and Diversity.
On Monday, the Asian Students Alliance (ASA) and the Athletes of Color Coalition (AoCC) hosted a campus-wide conversation, “How to be a Better Ally,” over Zoom. The event was split into two sections, with the first half designated as an “open mic for people to share their feelings on the continued violence against the AAPI community and police brutality against Black and brown people.” During the second half, participants were split into breakout groups to discuss their personal experiences on campus and how to make Bowdoin a more inclusive, supportive place.
Following the retirement of longtime men’s track and field Head Coach Peter Slovenski, the athletic department announced on March 31 that Lara-Jane (LJ) Que, Head Coach of the women’s track and field program, will be stepping into the role of Head Coach for the men’s program as well this June.
More impressed with their own team’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts than the Athletic Department’s, student athletes report general satisfaction with efforts to address DEI issues in athletics, according to a survey of Bowdoin student-athletes recently conducted by the Orient.
On February 18, the Bowdoin Athletic Department released the first semesterly update to its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Action Plan. The document has two sections: one outlining what they’ve done since mid-October when the DEI Committee first released its plan, and a second on a future plans.
Using TikToks shared on their Instagram story, Bowdoin’s Athletes of Color Coalition (AoCC) is celebrating Black History Month by highlighting different Black stories, broadcasting Black accomplishments and pointing out the propagation of Black stereotypes.
“We wanted to focus on acknowledging people of color and Black people’s stories,” Angelina Mayers ’23, one of the AoCC’s social media coordinators, said in a Zoom interview with the Orient.
The Bowdoin Student Athlete Advisory Committee (BSAAC) and the Athletes of Color Coalition (AoCC) collected responses from over 450 student-athletes this past week in a survey emailed to all athletes about issues of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
Disrupting ideas of activism and allyship, the Athletes of Color Coalition’s (AoCC) “The Art of Activism” interactive virtual event created a space for meaningful conversations and communicated the challenges faced by all BIPOC students, not just athletes, this past year.
Throughout the semester, athletes and coaches on all varsity teams, along with rowing and men’s rugby, have designed action plans to address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). The plans, which are works in progress, show commitments to educating their teammates, but some athletes feel that more concrete steps are needed to fully address issues of DEI within their teams.