Diversity and Inclusion

Minority administrators participate in seventh Governance Academy

For the seventh straight year, Division II partnered with the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association to give young minority and female administrators an up-close look at the Division II governance structure.

Robinson to join NCAA inclusion staff

Sonja Robinson will join the NCAA inclusion staff as director of minority inclusion the week of August 17. She comes to the national office from the University of New Mexico.

Reformed Group Aims to Tip Scales on Equity

The NCAA Gender Equity Task Force recently reconvened for the first time since 1993. While they are still shaping their processes and ironing out details, the task force’s mission is clear: Move the needle on gender equity in college sports.

Committee announces ‘Champions of Diversity and Inclusion’

MOIC and NCAA inclusion office partner on a new recognition to honor individuals working to support the interests of ethnic minorities.

Award for Diversity and Inclusion

The award represents a partnership formed by the NCAA and the Minority Opportunities Athletics Association to recognize and celebrate the initiatives, policies and practices of schools and offices that embrace diversity and inclusion across the intercollegiate athletics community.  This can be achieved through community service, professional development, hiring practices or programming activities that enhance opportunities for people of diverse cultures, backgrounds and experiences.

Diversity in itself is not enough to produce environments where all individuals and perspectives are welcomed and valued. While the presence of individuals from different cultures and backgrounds may suffice as a representation of numbers, the practice of inclusion refers to intentional creation of policies, procedures and practices that invite all voices to the decision-making table. Without these proactive measures, the benefits of diversity – increased creativity, the capacity for solving complex problems, greater satisfaction and higher quality organizational productivity – are nearly impossible to attain.


NCAA or MOAA member institutions, athletics departments and conference offices are eligible to receive the award.

Applications are reviewed for efforts in the following areas:

  • Leadership – For inclusion to be accepted and championed throughout a department, buy-in from individuals at the top levels of the leadership structure must provide visible and consistent messaging about the importance of diversity within the organization. Not only do leaders need to show support for diversity efforts, they must provide the vision, initiative and clears expectations that others embrace and imitate.
    • Examples: vision and Mission statements, core values, goals, rituals, branding, celebrations and traditions.
  • Infrastructure – For inclusive environments to be sustained, policies and systems must be implemented that support the long-term goals of the department.
    • Examples: diversity action plans, committees and task forces, hiring practices, targeted recruitment, and reward systems.
  • Evaluation & Assessment – Each campus environment has unique factors which must be considered when programs and initiatives are created. Continuous assessment and reflection about the needs, strategies and goals ensures attention to changing dynamics within the department.
    • Examples: climate surveys, exit interviews, inclusion reviews, annual reports, departmental audits, focus groups, and town halls.
  • Education – Diversity and inclusion efforts can be enhanced by creating and supporting programs aimed at increasing cultural and practical competencies for all individuals who have a role in the department’s success.
    • Examples: diversity trainings, annual orientations, speaker series, funding and time for professional development, mentoring programs, diversity conferences and seminars.
  • Collaboration – The athletics department both influences and is influence by the campus and community environments that it is embedded within. Collaboration with individuals and organizations outside of the department that have shared goals around inclusion can increase that success and impact of those programs.
    • Examples:  partnerships with campus chief diversity/inclusion officer, co-sponsored events, community outreach and engagement.

Key characteristics of award winners may include:

  • Focusing on the importance and the benefits of managing diversity, equality and promoting a culture of inclusion.
  • Raising and deepening awareness of equality and diversity issues, from both an employment and service provision point of view.
  • Providing mentoring opportunities and/or programming internally or externally.
  • Supporting inclusive and/or diversity related educational/professional development opportunities.
  • Implementing creative and inclusive work policies to support the needs of a diverse staff.
  • Fostering an environment that celebrates differences.
  • Contributions in the last year for innovative initiatives that affect the organization internally or externally.

Nomination and selection process

Nominations can be made online until the Sept. 25 deadline.  Two letters of support are required for all nominations.  Self-nominations are welcome.

Nominations will describe how the nominee has fostered leadership and commitment to enhance diversity and inclusion and expanded opportunities for students, staff and/or faculty within the athletics community.  Further, letters of support from self-nominated institutions, athletics departments or conference offices must come from members outside of the athletic department/conference office that have knowledge of their accomplishments or involvement with the programming.

The selection committee will consist of individuals from the MOAA membership, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics and the NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee.  


The 2021 winner will be recognized in January at the 2021 NCAA Convention and participate at the MOAA Symposium to be held in conjunction with the NACDA Convention in June 2021.

Past winners

NCAA to host inclusion forum and committee meetings in La Jolla

NCAA to host annual inclusion forum this week in California for its membership and external constituents. Attendees will learn about issues/topics/trends impacting intercollegiate athletics from a diversity/inclusion standpoint.

Wilson to join NCAA inclusion staff

Amy Wilson will join the NCAA inclusion office as the director of gender inclusion in May. Wilson will join the national office staff after concluding her duties at Illinois College where she is an associate professor of education and...

Statement on Indiana RFRA updated language

“We are very pleased the Indiana legislature is taking action to amend Senate Bill 101 so that it is clear individuals cannot be discriminated against. NCAA core values call for an environment that is inclusive and non-discriminatory for...

Statement on Indiana religious freedom bill

"The NCAA national office and our members are deeply committed to providing an inclusive environment for all our events. We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees. We will work...

Restructured Coaches Association Names Tyrone Lockhart as Chief Executive Officer

Advocates for Athletic Equity, formerly known as the Black Coaches & Administrators, has named Tyrone Lockhart as its chief executive officer.


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