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Worcester State Athletics Announces DEI Working Group

March 23, 2022
By: Craig Kaufman

The Worcester State University athletic department is excited to announce the creation of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) working group.

The DEI Working Group’s goal is to foster an environment accessible to student-athletes and staff of any race, color, religion, national origin, age, ability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital or parental status, and veteran status where all can thrive.

The working group includes student-athletes, coaches, alumni and administrators from the athletics department, as well as several representative from across the campus community.

“The Worcester State Athletic Department is committed to a providing a safe and inclusive environment to our student-athletes, coaches, administrators and all visitors to our campus,” said Director of Athletics Michael Mudd, who is also an Ex-Officio in the group. “The creation of the DEI Working Group within our department will enable us to continue to evolve and discover opportunities to encourage social change in support of everyone affiliated with our university.”

The working group will advance, endorse and advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion, and racially just practices and policies within the Athletics Department and in any outward facing interactions of the Athletics staff and students-athletes.

They will develop initiatives in order to promote positive and lasting change and expansion of efforts within the campus community and beyond as it relates to DEI principles, by collaborating with the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, AA & EO and other key offices and stakeholders in our campus community.

The first initiative of the DEI working group was to bring guest speaker Chris Singleton to campus on March 21. Singleton, a former minor league baseball player, is a nationally renowned speaker about resilience, forgiveness and unity following the loss of his mother in 2015.

“With the start of the Lancer DEI working group, we are able to work together to bring education, speakers, and events to our athletes,” said Kelly Downs, Coordinator of Student-Athlete Support Services, Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach and Chair of the Working Group. “With our kick-off event being Chris Singleton, we are excited to bring unity to the department and continue to focus on inclusion within the department and campus community.”

Other members of the working group include WSU Director of Affirmative Action & Equal Opportunity Maria Isabel Gariepy, Multicultural Affairs Director Laxmi Bissoondial, alumni Steve Bostic, field hockey coach Hayley Sutherland, football coach Adam Peloquin, and student-athletes Rachel Sinclair (softball) and Wyatt Friedlander (men’s ice hockey).

To learn more about the Worcester State DEI working group, go to the following site: https://worcester.prestosports.com/general/DEI.

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