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Division III Diversity and Inclusion

As a core value, the NCAA believes in and is committed to diversity, inclusion and gender equity among its student-athletes, coaches and administrators. We seek to establish and maintain an inclusive culture that fosters equitable participation for student-athletes and career opportunities for coaches and administrators from diverse backgrounds. Diversity and inclusion improve the learning environment for all student-athletes and enhance excellence.  

In January 2016, the NCAA Board of Governors unanimously approved a resolution to further the Association’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. The resolution calls upon university chancellors and presidents to promote cultural diversity and provide the necessary resources to address it on their campuses.  The board also announced the creation of a new ad hoc diversity and equity committee to monitor and report on the Association’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.  The ad hoc committee encourages all presidents and chancellors at NCAA member colleges and universities to sign the NCAA Presidential Pledge that commits their schools to achieving ethnic and racial diversity and gender equity in college sports hiring practices.  The pledge was developed out of a membership concern for the low representation of racial and ethnic minorities and women in coaching and athletics administration at all levels.

Division III, in partnership with the NCAA’s Office of Inclusion, provides educational resources, initiatives and programming, which enhances the foundations of a diverse and inclusive culture.  Inclusion continues to be an important aspect of intercollegiate athletics, and the Division III governance structure collaborates with its 450 member institutions and 42 conference offices to support their diversity and inclusion goals.

Division III Diversity and Inclusion Working Group

At the 2015 NCAA Convention, the Division III delegates endorsed the creation of a Diversity and Inclusion Working Group.  The working group’s charge is to assess the current diversity and inclusion landscape within Division III, evaluate current initiatives, and propose next steps (e.g., resources, new initiatives, policies, etc.) to the membership.


Diversity Spotlight Recipient

The Division III Diversity Spotlight Initiative was started in August of 2014 as a collaborative project between the NCAA Office of Inclusion and the Diversity & Well-Being Committee of the Division III Commissioners Association.

The Diversity Spotlight Initiative recognizes and promotes outstanding diversity development projects, programming and initiatives occurring on Division III campuses and in conference offices. Each month an institution or conference is identified by the selection committee to be featured on the DIII webpage and in the DIII Monthly Update. In addition, the featured institution or conference office receives $500 toward its next diversity initiative.

The criterion on which the submissions are evaluated are:

  • Impact of project on diversity & (not or) well-being of student-athletes;
  • Degree of impact (measured by numbers of people influenced/affected by the project);
  • Scope of the project (planning, engagement, depth, outcomes).
Diversity Spotlight Initiative – Dec. 2017/Jan. 2018

The City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) is the recipient of the December/January Division III Diversity Spotlight Initiative.  The CUNYAC launched an Inclusive and Adaptive Sports Initiative.  Click here for more information.

To submit a story for consideration, please email

Past Diversity Spotlight Winners

January 2018   City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) Inclusive and Adaptive Sports Initiative
November 2017   Ripon College Safe zone training seminar
October 2017   Midwest Conference Female and Ethnic Minority Mentoring Program
August 2017   Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) The Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE)
April 2017   Lawrence University It's On Us week PSA
March 2017   The College of Wooster The College of Wooster MLK Day Celebration
February 2017   Hiram College Hiram Kicks Off MLK Week with Diversity and Inclusion Forum
January 2017   Albion College Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Dialogue and Service
November 2016   University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Feeding America
October 2016   Pennsylvania State University at Abington Diversity Leadership Retreat
July 2016   Denison University Diversity and Inclusion Athlete Advisory Group (DIG)
June 2016   Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Inclusion Forum
May 2016   Centennial Conference 2016 Snell-Shillingford Symposium
April 2016   PAC and AMCC conferences Conference for ethnic minorities and women
March 2016   Augsburg College Intercultural Development Program
February 2016   US Coast Guard Academy LeadHERship Symposium