The NCAA LGBTQ+ working group started an initiative named One Team. It promotes the inclusion of all genders, races, and sexualities. According to a 2017 membership survey, more than 80% of athletic and school administrators identified themselves as LGBTQ+ allies, and roughly 60% of student-athletes identified themselves as allies of the LGBTQ+ community. With the LGBTQ+ community growing, and the allies supporting its growth, the NCAA Division III is putting a huge focus on schools, and teams showing their support as well.
Helping to bring to campus the powerful messaging of the OneTeam Program was Samantha Kastner ‘19. Kastner serves on the National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) and Empire Eight Conference. As a member of National SAAC, Kastner has served on the NCAA Division III Management Council, Committee on Women’s Athletics, and Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports (CSMAS). All of these committees vocalized and discussed the importance of the DIII OneTeam Program and how to best incorporate programs on their campuses.
In continuing support, NDMU’s Director of Athletics Renee Bostic became a OneTeam Program Facilitator, having been trained to teach OneTeam trainings on campuses across the country. She is now one of over 30 facilitators nationwide.
Recently, NDMU held a special OneTeam training. “The OneTeam Week was a perfect way to bring all the student-athletes together. It didn’t matter what team you were a part of, during OneTeam Week, we were all one team,” SAAC President Hannah Amodia said. “The trainings held throughout the week really helped student-athletes be more aware and helped us learn how to become better allies for the LGBTQ+ community.”
“Not only did our student-athletes sign up for our trainings, they showed up and were engaged and responsive to the material,” said Bostic. Throughout the year, NDMU Athletics intends to continue the messaging of diversity and inclusion. The student-athletes at NDMU are excited to celebrate the messaging of diversity and inclusion in the future. The Department of Athletics remains dedicated to proving student-athletes with a well-rounded educational experience.
“We are excited NCAA’s diversity initiative is helping us fulfill our NDMU mission,” Bostic said. “As an institution, we look forward to our next opportunity to live out our goal of promoting the importance of diversity and inclusion.” NDMU was granted $500 towards their next Diversity Initiative.
For more information about the Division III LGBTQ OneTeam Program and how you can facilitate programming at your institution, visit OneTeam.