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All NACDA Members
Staff Training: Diversity Awareness Issues
(Tuesday, June 7 --11:00-11:45 a.m.)

Kathleen McNally:

My name is Kathleen McNally from LaSalle University. It's my pleasure to present this breakout session and this distinguished panel before you. The intent of this session is to run off the opening session this morning where they discussed diversity and, basically, identify issues that deal with diversity , education and awareness. One of the things that we felt, through NACDA, since diversity is becoming more of a demand within the work place that to deal with the issue of diversity , we need to know how, not only to identify, but to train our staffs and be more sensitive to the diversity that exists.

The gentlemen who will be the main speaker today is Mr. Stan Johnson. He is the director of professional development at the NCAA office. Stanley has also dealt with the minority committees, the Black Coaches Association, the Committee of Women Athletics and the Presidential Subcommittee on Minority Issues. So, Stanley himself has dealt with as many diverse areas within the NCAA structure as are apparent at this time. I'm proud to present, Stan Johnson.

Stan Johnson:

Today, what we're trying to do, is to give you an overview of the diversity workshops that the NCAA is embarking on. Currently, the national office is in the development state of a workshop for athletics administration and developing a pilot that will be utilized to assist athletics departments in understanding diversity and to start the process of developing diversity on your campus. We plan to give you a five-to lO-minute ice breaker, a part of what we do in the workshop; then, go into a five-minute overview and then, allow the panelists, and I'll introduce each one of them prior to speaking, to give you their thoughts on diversity. Finally, we'll answer any of your questions.

Each of you should have in your hands a sheet that says "Understanding Diversity". I want to take you through this sheet. In the box marked "a", list five prominent Americans that you know. They can be dead or alive. I'll give you about 20 seconds to do that. In box "b", list five prominent male Americans. In box "c", list five prominent American women. In box "d", list five prominent Black Americans. In box "e", list five prominent Hispanic individuals. In box "f', list five prominent Asian individuals. In box "g", five prominent native American Indians. In box "h", list five prominent gay Americans. Finally, in box "I", list five prominent individuals over 65 years old. I'd like to ask who in here got every box filled? In most cases, we cannot fill each and every box. It's a part of what we need to learn in diversity and that is about other individuals. That's what diversity teaches. Who can do the fIrst box for me?

Most can list five prominent Americans. Most can list five prominent women. Most can list five prominent black Americans. Can anyone throw out Hispanic Americans? Prominent can be in your own city or someone within our scope. How many Asian individuals? How about native American Indians? It's interesting when we get to this category because the names of Sitting Bull and Geronimo are the only individuals we know about. Those portrayed on television about native American Indians are the only ones we know. The important part of this process is understanding individuals. How about gay Americans? Martina. Anyone else? How about Liberace? There's two senators and Rock Hudson.

What we just did dramatizes the diverseness of this room and we can answer these questions. We can answer and list all five of each one of these boxes. It shows how diversity can assist you within your organization. Without it, we couldn't do it byourselves. We couldn't do it individually, but as a group, with diverse backgrounds and diverse circumstances, we are able to fill this list. That's the importance of diversity .This is part of the technique and training to assist individuals and institutions in understanding diversity and the concepts of diversity .

I'm only going to spend a few minutes talking to you about diversity .I'm going to tell you what diversity is not. This i in your packet. Diversity is not lowering your performance standards. It's not about bringing in individuals that are below your standards. Work must be performed and you must perform it, so it's not about lowering standards of performance. It's not a special program to make majority males feel guilty .That's not what diversity is about. It's not a program where we stand up and say, "You've got to change", or "you did this". It's not a replacement or substitute for affirmative action. Therc are some instances in this country where affirmative action is still needed. Diversity is not a replacement for it. It's not a process for which we are trying to establish quotas or numbers. It's not developing women and minorities at the expense of majority males. It's a sense of bringing all individuals together to work for the common good of the association or organization. It's not a short-term strategy. It's not something that you can in just a two-day workshop or a 45-minute session and expect to say I now am diverse. I now understand.

It's not an option. As many of you heard this morning, as we move toward the year 2000, there are going to be more minorities, more women, more diverse backgrounds coming into the work force and it's important that we get ready to handle that and work with it. What is diversity? It is basically reaching organizational objectives by maximizing the contributions of individuals from every segment of the employee population. This means working with every individual and understanding and valuing every individual in the organization.

I am a finn believer that if you have five white males in a room, you have diversity .That is because those individuals have different religious backgrounds, different histories, different sociological and come from different parts of the country . They are diverse in their thinking. The more diverse you are in an organization, the more things people bring to the table. you'll see different values, different experiences, different ways of looking at things. The more they can add to and enhance the organization. I'm not going to spend very much more time because I wanted to leave time for our panel. Then, we'll talk later on about our goals.

I would like to introduce Clint Bryant who is the director of athletics at Augusta College.

Clint Bryant:

I attended the NCAA College Diversion Program about two months ago. It was the first diversity workshop I ever attended and I would say that is was personally rewarding for me. It would behoove all of us sitting in this room to go back to your campuses and if you're not involved in any diversity training or workshops, you need to get your administration involved. It's not just something that needs to be done on the athletic side of the campus, but it needs to be done on our campuses entirely. It is an opportunity for people of differences to learn more about one another, but also, finding out that there is a need in the work place, may it be in the English Department or the School of Arts and Sciences. It should be talked about and made prevalent.

Athletic programs are the most diverse place on our campuses because athletes come from all different walks of life, different backgrounds, different social and economic backgrounds. Yet, in our departments themselves, there's not much diversity .A survey will be published in another six weeks and it's going to be shocking in regards to the demographics in intercollegiate athletics. It will shock a lot of us knowing the numbers are not there. It's very important for our student- athletes to be able to see people in decision-making decisions be people of color, women, Asian Americans, Indian Americans, because they are the ones they can role model themselves after.

We were talking the other day about why are there not a large number of African Americans in the field ofeducation. One of the reasons is that they see none of us in the educational process. Go back to your campuses and look at the people who make the decisions. Those are positions of power and if there's no diversity in those positions, then our students cannot see a way for their future. It's important that we discuss these things and be very open about these things.

Dick Rasmussen:

I've been involved in this program having been a member of the Committee on Women's Athletics and being involved in the selection process as we looked at a number of consultants who do diversity training and trying to actually select consultants to put together this pilot workshop. Through the course of looking at a number of different approaches to how diversity training is accomplished, there appeared to be two different approaches that we somewhat related and needed to be incorporated into this type of workshop. One was a corporate approach that emphasizes the responsibility of the organization to manage diversity and to bring people of diverse backgrounds through the corporate or organizational structure, open doorways for them, help them along their individual career paths. At the same time, making known to individuals to learn their own responsibilities as to how organizations work, what expectations of them are and learning to work with diverse people as they move through the organization.

Another approach was more an educationally based approach that maybe comes out of a student affairs perspective which asks people to engage the issue of diversity and relating to people of diverse backgrounds on a very personal level. For me, that part of that aspect of the workshops was really the most meaningful. The workshop that's under development now, as it stands, will be something on the order of a two-day workshop. More likely it will be groups of 40 or so people which allows for the possibility of a relatively diverse group of people, but within the workshop itself, we tend to break up for a lot of the exercises into smaller groups of five or six people. This is effective because you get a chance to spend some very personal time with some individuals who are very much life yourself, but you also fmd they are very different from yourself and, at the same time, other people you assume would be very different from you, do share a lot of common things. Being able to appreciate those differences and get over the inhibitions that we are tend to have when we get in a room of people where it looks like we're one of a kind, I found to be helpful. It is also a lot of fun. It was an enjoyable experience going through the total workshop. There are a lot of things that come up in the workshop and as you sit down and think about them, it gives you a chance to reflect on some of those things away from the office type situation and without any immediate pressure. You have time to do exercises that are hands-on and you get involved. You can't walk away without engaging the diversity issue on a very personal level. It's not an effort to impose a particular point of view on individuals. There's no one right approach or one right way of looking at everyone, no matter what issue is being discussed.

The workshop tries to get across a point of view that there's a process involved where we need to be open to other points of view, understand our own points of view and what shapes our perspectives. Then, put all of those things together to be able to evaluate the other perspectives, evaluate what there is within those perspectives that can help us as individuals in relating to others, but also, it helps to develop our own sense of values. Among those different kinds of perspectives, we can take advantage of some of them in our own departments, our own institutions and our own teams. We can make our organizations more effective, more pleasant places to be and spend time.

As the workshops become more developed and are out there for other groups and organizations, I strongly urge you to take advantage of them. Look seriously at these because this is the type of thing that can be valuable on all of our campuses and within a variety of organizations. There's a real value to them and they can be very useful and enjoyable.

Kathleen McNally:

I, too, was invited to attend the workshop and participate in the development of the pilot program. As many of us who, in the late' ?Os, went through what was traditionally called then, sensitivity training, where you dealt with issues of color . Diversity , basically, was defmed as people of different color. I now represent a group that is the other gender or the under- represented population that we are having to deal with because of law and because of the changing work force that is existing today. Some of the concerns that I had coming out of the workshop was, again, the visibility of women's images or peers or experts in the area of even diverse training. We do not have the level of individuals that are out there to present success stories or to present a message on how to deal with the woman in the work place.

One of the things I would ask you take back with you from, not only this morning's session, but from this session, is the fact that, as administrators, you need to begin to evaluate and as you get into your particular program, it is not a divisional question, it is not a size of staff nor is it a monetary question. A lot of things that you can deal with on your campus with diversity is for you to begin to evaluate from your level of authority what the environment of your athletic department is. How comfortable is that environment? A lot of us have a lot of down time. At airports or on the airplanes, take a blank piece of paper out. List the people that you deal with every day. We've played several types of games and I call them games because they are fun. It does identify some of the weaknesses and the stereo types and patterns that we have set ourselves into. On the people that you deal with daily, try to list five or six categories and identify them. Make some of them a little more diverse than height, weight or the car they are driving. Deal with a little more personally with what are the ages of their children. Go back and try to find out factually, what you have listed. One of the things that I have found in athletics that we have a tendency to do is lose time. Our jobs are becoming much more demanding. There is no time schedule, none ofus work a nine to five job, years run into years, trying to figure out the last time when you did something. You just, more or less, lose concept of time. Even with the people you have worked quite lengthy with, longevity of time, had great success with, you lose a perspective of that side of a person.

The other area of concern I had coming out of this workshop was the fact of dealing with particular concerns such as male coaches coaching women athletes. We are dealing with a whole new different type, not only females, but the male student-athlete is very different today. I think back to the '60s when students and people asked, why? In the '90s, the student-athletes are again beginning to ask the question why are you asking me to do these types of things. A lot of us, especially the older coaches and the established coaches, administrators and staff people are not used to that type of questioning or demands being made of you to justify your purpose or objectives. We need to continually identify with coaches of security and tradition the change in student-athlete. We need to look at them and say you need to deal with the questioning of why. When you have males coaching females, even though it may be a natural, a lot of them prefer to have male coaches. The whole cultural development of women's athletics provides that type of atmosphere. Although, it is still somewhat of an unnatural situation and you need to make those coaches continually aware of the differences in the emotional and physical aspects of women in athletics.

There are new women. They will become a part of your administrative staff and it is also an issue that you need to become more aware of and it's a difficult responsibility and it's not necessarily the responsibility of the woman or women on your staff or in your program to carry out these responsibilities. One of the areas that I've addressed with Stan and the consultants with this group is that this is one of the areas that this workshop needs to deal with a lot more. So, on a very broad educational-based program that came forward like this, I can almost guarantee that when you go back to you campus, as you evaluate the woman issue on your campuses, I'm sure that there are weaknesses or needs to deal with this diversity on your campus. I encourage you to do that.

Stan Johnson:

I'd like to give you an overview ofwhere we are in the NCAA in the development stages. We conducted the first pilot with the Committee on Women's Athletics, the Minority Opportunities and Interest Committee, the Presidents' sub- Committee on Minority Issues, as well as various staff and the total management staff of the NCAA. We are now in the development of evaluating and will get feedback to the trainers. On Friday, we will meet with the trainers in Dallas and give them the outcome, what was liked, what was not liked in the process, what we need to change. There were concerns that it was too corporate, too business-like. We are interested in more of that type of feedback.

The third stage of our development will be to take our trainers to a camp and let them work with an athletic staff. The fourth stage will be to have another pilot where they will work with that athletic staff and will be involved with individuals from the membership itself. It late July, we will be putting together a group that will come into either the national office or a designated location to conduct this workshop. There will be an opportunity for approximately 40 individuals to participate in this workshop. You will either see a letter or an announcement in the NCAA News that will call for institutions interested to contact me at the national office. We will be soliciting your support in that process. At the end of this process, we want to take this to national and regional workshops. Perhaps, we will conduct a two-day session at a NACDA workshop and various other sessions as well.

Diversity covers every area and every individual. When you leave, please do not tell the second group all the answers so I can make sure they'll feel this experience too. Thank you very much.