The goal for each program, chapter or league should be to become an organization where diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of the values and culture of the program. Bringing together varied life experiences and perspectives adds significant value to your community and reinforces the concept of inclusivity.

Despite the benefits, diversity continues to be one of the most elusive challenges in the sport of lacrosse. The 10 best practices listed below were compiled to assist organizations with inexpensive ways to integrate inclusivity and accessibility into your program. In-depth descriptions with overarching strategies, including practical, ready-to-use information, can be accessed via the PDF documents linked below.

Diversity and Inclusion Best Practices

  1. Communicate the importance of inclusion within your team and organization.
    Defining diversity as an organizational priority states the significance of these expectations and objectives with your administration and program.
  2. Create an inclusive team environment and practice inclusive team behaviors.
    Guidelines can help your organization create an inclusive team environment both on the field and in the office.
  3. Create strategic partnerships with organizations that feature diverse populations.
    Cultivating strategic partnerships with other organizations that have a direct impact on underserved youth can help extend your organization’s reach.
  4. Review your local diversity data annually to assist in setting goals.
    Identify diversity recruitment opportunities by measuring your lacrosse program’s actual diversity and compare it to your local city’s diversity.
  5. Implement a volunteer or staff diversity protocol that outlines the process for securing diverse leadership in your organization.
    The staffing process should be consistent and clearly defined to all involved in your organization.
  6. Mentor and create a pipeline.
    A mentorship program can create a pipeline for diverse individuals to serve in leadership roles within your organizations and create an ongoing support structure for your mentees.
  7. Examine your assumptions.
    It is very common for coaches to incorrectly assume that each player on the team shares his/her own background.
  8. Allocate funds specifically for outreach initiatives to alleviate barriers to participation.
    Allocate money in advance to go towards scholarships and assistance to invest in participants with financial needs.
  9. Revamp your outreach efforts.
    There are many different creative ways to find diverse players and staff. Consider utilizing new approaches and strategies to expand inclusion.
  10. Continually evaluate your Diversity and Inclusion Plan.
    Create accountability for the items in your program’s inclusion plan, including goals and timelines.

For more details and information about each of these D&I Best Practices, please view our full Best Practices document in PDF format.

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