Diversity and Inclusion Social Media Campaign

In Partnership with the Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee (MOIC) and Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAACs).

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Day 1: “My Story Matters”

Exploring student-athletes’ identities, perspectives, and experiences.

On Day 1 of the campaign (Tuesday, Oct. 27), the focus is on student-athletes’ stories and experiences that represent who they are as an individual. The purpose of this day is for students to showcase how they are more than just an athlete and to show that their stories can make a difference. What makes their story matter? How do they strive to show who they are more than just an athlete? What power do they find in their individual stories, particularly when it comes to diversity and inclusion? These are a few questions that campaign participants can think about to kick off the first day of the campaign.

Please note: This year’s campaign activity suggestions are almost exclusively focused on online activities given the uncertainties many schools face to hold in-person events and activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Example Posts:

  • “It’s NCAA Diversity & Inclusion Week! Today we want you to tell us why YOUR story matters. How does your story matter when it comes to diversity and inclusion? Use #NCAAInclusion to share who you are, what your story is, and how you can use that story for diversity and inclusion!”
  • “Calling all student-athletes! Are YOU ready to get our third annual #NCAAInclusion social media campaign started? We all have a story to be told, so share a piece of yours with us! Let your story make a difference, and use #NCAAInclusion to get your friends involved!”

Engagement Level 1

Example Activities:

Activity Title: “More than an Athlete”

Description: Post a picture of yourselves in a non-athletic environment doing something you enjoy. In the description for the post, highlight what it is that you are doing and why or how it represents you and your story. Remember: The focus of the campaign is on diversity and inclusion, so you may want to focus on your various social identities (e.g., race, gender, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, etc.).

Activity Title: “Student-Athletes = Leaders”

Description: Use this opportunity to spotlight specific student-athletes that have taken on leadership roles on campus, including members from your SAAC or other leadership organizations on your campus. After all, leadership stories are stories that inspire us! Because the focus of the campaign is on diversity and inclusion, you may want to think about highlighting student-athletes who are involved in diversity and inclusion organizations specifically (e.g., campus committees, student groups, community groups, etc.).

Activity Title: “Many Valuable Players (MVPs)”

Description: Because student-athletes from underrepresented or minoritized groups often face additional barriers in college, commit to highlighting stories of resilience among underrepresented student-athletes in your community (athletes of color, international students, LGBTQ athletes, female athletes, athletes with disabilities, etc.). Use #NCAAInclusion to create awareness of their experience, share the various ways in which they enrich your community, and ask your followers to do the same. This could also be a larger story series in the athletics department focused on giving a platform to the stories of underrepresented and minoritized students on your campus.

Engagement Level 2

Example Activities:

Activity Title: “Inspirational Stories”

Description: Post a picture or a video of someone who inspired you to be your true self. In the caption, you can then explain how that person has been a part of your journey. Explain why or how the individual’s story matters to you and how it has affected you. Next, tag 3-5 of your teammates and prompt them to do the same.

Activity Title: “My Story Word Cloud”

Description: Using a free word cloud generator online (e.g. https://www.wordclouds.com/), create a word cloud that represents your story and various identities. Sharing a picture of your words cloud online is a great way to show others who you are. Need inspiration? Simply google “word clouds focused on inclusion” or similar search terms to get some ideas on how to create a great word cloud. Of course, you can also create a word cloud using differently colored pens and a blank piece of paper!

Activity Title: “Whose Story Is It?”

Description: Utilizing the story feature on Instagram or Facebook, put together a list of interesting diversity facts for each team at your school. Then, have followers of the story guess which team you are referring to when sharing those statistics in poll format. Example: “Whose story is it? This team has three international students, including one student from Denmark, one from Ghana, and one from Malaysia. A: Women’s Soccer, B: Men’s Soccer, C: Women’s Tennis, D: Men’s Basketball” This activity can also be done at an individual level – all you have to do is collect a series of interesting facts from your teammates.

Activity Title: “Letter to my Former Self”

Description: For the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year celebration, honorees wrote powerful letters to their sport in which they reflect on the importance of their sport in their lives. Check out the letters here: https://spark.adobe.com/page/gpgYoC0EPQnwm/. Adapting this idea to the 2020 NCAA Diversity and Inclusion Social Media Campaign, ask student-athletes to write a letter to their former self. What messages would they like to share with a former self? How has their story evolved since graduating high school or middle school? What lessons have they learned by being a college athlete? What identities have they explored more since high school? These can be some guiding questions for the letters. Remember: The focus of the campaign is on diversity and inclusion, so you may want to give prompts specifically focused on topics such as identities, differences, and/or culture (e.g., What part of your identity do you wish you had explored sooner?). Student-athletes can either write out their letter and share via social media or record a video of them reading the letter out aloud.

Engagement Level 3

Example Activities:

Activity Title: “Symbolic Items”

Description: Ask student-athletes to post a brief video featuring themselves with an item that has symbolic meaning to them and that represents one of their identities (e.g., a family item). Invite them to explain how that item represents a part of their story, particularly as it may relate to hidden or invisible identity categories (e.g., socio-economic background, (dis)ability, nationality, etc.).

Activity Title: “Not My Story PSA”

Description: Create a PSA that asks student-athletes, coaches and administrators to write a common stereotype they face based on one or more of the identities they hold on a piece of paper. Next, have them tear up the piece of paper and say the statement “This is not part of my story” to challenge prominent, harmful stereotypes based on social identities. Add all clips together for one impactful, powerful PSA that shatters stereotypes student-athletes face on campus and in their everyday lives!

Activity Title: “Picture This … Implicit Bias”

Description: For the 2019 NCAA Diversity and Inclusion Campaign, Nebraska Athletics created a powerful video that playfully illustrated the concept of implicit bias. Implicit bias is the unconscious preference for or against something; for example, when hearing the term “CEO,” you may automatically assume the person referred to with this title is a White, straight man. In their video for the 2019 campaign, Nebraska Athletics asked viewers to picture a person holding a specific role (e.g. “a painter,” “a future athletic director,” etc), only to reveal a diverse set of student-athletes challenge common perceptions of what those roles look like. You can access the video here: https://twitter.com/Huskers/status/1186658377662754816. This video idea can easily be adapted to this year’s theme by adding a section that talks about how non-normative stories provide a powerful platform for diversity and inclusion efforts – and thus need to be highlighted.

Tell us about it!

Do you have a great idea for the campaign that you would like to share with other campaign participants?

Submit it here.