Partnership with Southland Conference

Partnership with Southland Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                            

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Institute for Sport & Social Justice Partners with Southland Conference

Membership to Benefit from Educational Series on Social Justice, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

ORLANDO, Florida – The Institute for Sport and Social Justice has partnered with the Southland Conference to provide multiple educational and training sessions to promote social justice, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging across the conference. This series, entitled Huddle Up for Equity & Social Justice, will engage, empower and equip all Southland campuses with the knowledge and tools to positively impact their culture.

As preeminent leaders in the area of DEI and social justice, the Institute for Sport and Social Justice brings an impressive resume and skill set. Southland membership will have both virtual and in-person access to their programming that includes such topics as Building Trust, Unconscious Bias, The Impact of Racism and Equality vs. Equity. This series will inspire leadership, increase trust and elevate the culture of an organization.

“The Southland Conference and its member institutions are very proud to partner with the Institute for Sport & Social Justice on the Huddle Up for Equity & Social Justice series,” Southland Commissioner Tom Burnett said.  “Our universities have made Diversity, Equity and Inclusion a shared core value of our association, as well as a strategic emphasis area for the future of the league.  This series of sessions in the coming months will provide invaluable learning and growth opportunities for all of us, both personally and professionally, and we look forward to the essential benefits this programming will deliver.”

“We are thrilled to partner with the Southland Conference on this critical training,” said Dr. Jeff O’Brien, Vice President of the Institute for Sport and Social Justice.  “This is all about moving the needle and providing transformational opportunities for the Conference and their membership.  The conversation in these sessions will empower leaders with the knowledge and skills to impact their respective campuses.”

Athletic administrators, including university presidents, student-athletes and Southland staff will participate in this week’s first virtual session on Building Community, Building Trust. This session will recognize how many people are feeling challenged to be accountable for things that take them out of their comfort zones. Participants will engage in an active discussion as to how they feel their roles can impact inclusivity and how to take more active responsibility in helping their organization respond to current social injustice issues.

About the Institute for Sport and Social Justice

For more than three decades, the Institute For Sport & Social Justice (The Institute) has been a champion for social justice in the sports arena. The Institute has educated and trained thousands of coaches, officials, administrators, and student-athletes in the areas of diversity and inclusion, gender violence prevention from a by-standers perspective, transformational leadership, critical decision-making skills for students-athletes, and much more. The Institute utilizes the passion and love of sport to create a safe environment to explore and discuss social justice. Come join us. “CHANGING LIVES THROUGH THE POWER OF SPORT!”

About the Southland Conference

Founded in Dallas in 1963 and now in its 59th competitive season, the Southland Conference celebrates the academic and competitive achievements of its member institutions and their student-athletes.  The league, based in Frisco, Texas, now includes nine members in Louisiana and Texas, and sponsors 19 NCAA Division I sports, with NCAA Championships automatic berths in 12 applicable team sports.  The league has won numerous national championships, including the 2020 NCAA Division I FCS title, and wins regularly in other sports in NCAA postseason play, including the 2021 Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.  The Conference’s student-athletes perform exceptionally well in the classroom, as graduation rates and NCAA Academic Performance metrics are at all-time highs.  Further, all current Southland athletic programs qualify for the new NCAA Academic Performance Fund.  The league also features a newly-expanded agreement with ESPN Networks, broadcasting hundreds of competitions each year, and is represented in the national corporate sales marketplace by Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment.  The league has also served as the host conference for the successful NCAA Division I FCS Championship Game in Frisco since 2011.

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