BURG ALLIES Takes on Diversity & Inclusion

GETTYSBURG, Pa. – The Department of Athletics at Gettysburg College has launched BURG ALLIES, a program-wide initiative to educate and empower student-athletes and staff to traverse the difficult conversations surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion and take action in the pursuit of equality for all people.

In conjunction with the department’s newly launched Well-Being Program, BURG ALLIES targets prevailing social issues in our society. ALLIES stands for: Advocate, Listen, Lean, Include, Empower, and Sustain. The program seeks to uphold the institution’s values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, while striving to create a competitive environment where all voices are heard and where each individual is treated with respect and dignity.

Discrimination and bias have no place in the athletics community and building a strong knowledge-base and empowering student-athletes and staff to take actionable responses are key factors in strengthening the campus community as a whole.

Members in the program include representatives across the athletic department, including both student-athletes and coaches. The committee meets on average bi-weekly based on events and programming and discusses pertinent and current issues within the campus community and the nation at-large.

The focus of the group most recently has centered on social justice, but the ultimate goal is to develop programming and educational opportunities for student-athletes, coaches, and staff in the areas of LGBTQA life, multicultural affairs, religious and spiritual life and other areas impacted by bias and discrimination.

During the month of September, Gettysburg College was the first collegiate institution to take part in “A Long Talk About the Uncomfortable Truth” with Decide2Inspire, Inc. Over three weeks, a group of College administrators, faculty, staff, and students met with representatives from Decide2Inspire to talk about the history of systemic racism in America and ways to pursue individual and cooperative activism. Ensuring that black student-athletes and employees can share their experiences and help others understand those experiences will be an on-going initiative that BURG ALLIES leads.

Each month during the academic calendar, BURG ALLIES will focus on an educational topic and encourage its members to read, watch, and reflect on various source material. Members have also been encouraged to take the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) assessment, which looks at the ability to shift cultural perspective and appropriately adapt behavior to cultural differences and commonalities. At the end of October, staff and student-athletes will join Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies Scott Hancock for a tour of the nearby Gettysburg Battlefield and discuss the historical perspective of the great battle.

With over 600 student-athletes and staff, Gettysburg athletics is poised to be a leading force on campus in issues surrounding diversity and inclusion. More educational activities are being planned in the coming weeks and months that will continue to push student-athletes and coaches to be leaders in the community.Print Friendly Version

This story was originally posted on the Gettysburg College Website.

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