NEWMAC SAAC Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

NEWMAC SAAC Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

WESTWOOD, Mass. - The New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) is looking forward to celebrating the eighth annual NCAA Division III Week

During April 1-7, the NEWMAC institutions will be celebrating the academic accomplishments and athletic experiences, as well as campus and community involvement, of its student-athletes.  

NEWMAC SAAC Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

The purpose of the NEWMAC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Diversity and Inclusion Initiative is to support and acknowledge that there are many different areas of diversity such as gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic heritage, political beliefs, physical abilities and life experiences. The NEWMAC SAAC Diversity and Inclusion Initiative aims to promote positive dialouge, education and support for the many different types of diversity and inclusion practices. Core value of the conference. 

During Division III Week, the NEWMAC will be highlighting what efforts and programs SAAC groups are conducting on campus to support diversity and inclusion. 

At WPI - 

The WPI athletic department created a WPI Athletics Rainbow Shirt that highlighted Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, with all proceeds going to cancer research. The shirt encompassed all of the colors that represent different kinds of cancer and has become very popular as has it "United We Win" slogan! The shirt also represented the department's commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

Additionally, the WPI SAAC participated in the NCAA SAAC Diversity and Inclusion Social Media Campaign. Read more about both campaigns here

The WPI athletic department has also created an "It's On Us" video in help bring awareness to and stop sexual assault. 

At Wellesley - 

Wellesley has started a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee in the athletic department, of which, there are two student members. This committee is tasked with providing education to its faculty, staff and students, as well as exploring resources related to diversity and inclusion both in the department and on its campus. One of the goals of the committee is to create long-term programming. 

From March 12-13, Wellesley invited Nevin Caple of LGBT SportsSafe to campus to lead a series of events during Wellesley's Trans Day of Visibility Campaign. Read more about the events here

At Smith - 

Smith has a specific student-run and student-led group, the Sports Committee for Inclusion and Diversity (SCID) that works to spark conversations about diversity and create an environment that provides a sense of inclusivity for all in Smith's Athletic department, programs, and teams. This is a organization separate from SAAC.
 
SCID is separate from Smith SAAC and should not be conflated as a product of SAAC. Different student athletes are involved with and lead SCID, although there is some crossover in participation and SCID has a liaison on our SAAC board.
 
SCID puts on annual events to bring the athletic community together such as a lip sync battle, letter reading ceremony, and the first annual conference for inclusion and diversity, EmPower, happening on April 14th from 12-5 pm at Smith College. There is also an ongoing media campaign highlighting minority athletes' experiences and can be viewed here
 

At Mount Holyoke -

Currently, the Mount Holyoke SAAC is working on raising awareness of the present status of diversity and inclusion on campus, specifically throughout the student-athlete community. By meeting with the coaches and representative players of each varsity athletic team, the MHC SAAC are gathering a better understanding of how the community as a whole sees its current efforts towards improving diversity, and what they believe to be the college's strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, it is working on compiling diversity statistics specific to the student-athlete population, with which we can compare to the perception of the student body.

At this moment, only MHC SAAC members of all of the varsity athletic teams have participated. However, it plans to incorporate each of the coaches and the rest of the athletes on the teams moving forward as well. Each meeting was a one-time event to help the MHC SAAC grasp an idea of individual teams perspectives. The combination of these one-time meetings will now help MHC SAAC plan out its long-term programming.

The outcome of this programming has resulted in a better understanding of the student perspective towards diversity. Additionally, we have a deeper understanding of the individual needs of every athletic team and how their sport could potentially manipulate our plan of action.

At Clark - 

The Clark SAAC participated in the 2018 NCAA SAAC Diversity and Inclusion Social Media Campaign. During this five-day event in October, the Clark SAAC promoted awareness across the department by starting the conversation around diversity and inclusion, while also posting something every day on their social media accounts. 

On Monday, the Clark SAAC picked a pool of student-athletes that had diverse backgrounds and ethnicities to discuss what diversity means to them at Clark.

The next day, the Clark SAAC highlighted student-athletes that do more than just athletics. The goal of this day was to debunk athlete stereotypes and show what other skills the student-athletes had acquired at Clark.

On Wednesday, the Clark SAAC posted facts throughout the day using the NCAA Diversity and Inclusion information, before releasing a video on Thursday, of the SAAC executive board describing what diversity means to them.

On Friday, the Clark SAAC capped off the week with a video from the athletic administrations with their new mission for Clark Athletics about Diversity and inclusion.