skip navigation

IWLCA Adopts Equity and Inclusion Statement

By IWLCA Admin, 11/02/20, 2:30PM EST


The IWLCA Board of Directors has voted to formally adopt an Equity and Inclusion Statement drafted by the Racial Equity Task Force (RETF). Since its formation in July 2020, the Racial Equity Task Force has launched several initiatives, working with the IWLCA Board of Directors, staff, and committees to improve the association.

“The Equity and Inclusion statement was the result of significant discussion amongst the task force members regarding the values of the IWLCA and the vision we have for the future of the association,” said Jessy Morgan, co-chair of the Task Force. “Our intent is to not only raise awareness of the challenges some members of our community face, but also to encourage support and accountability as we commit to doing the work required to make the community more inclusive and equitable.”

IWLCA Equity and Inclusion Statement

The IWLCA values equity and inclusion. We commit to diversifying our association and fostering a welcoming environment to all our members regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, ability, national origin, color, sexual orientation, and other identities. 

We recognize that issues of diversity, inclusion, race, and social justice are critical elements in our lives, and understand some members of our body are affected more directly than others. The IWLCA acknowledges the need for empathy and education in order to understand these issues and better support Black, Indigenous, and other members of color, as well as all of those underrepresented in our community. We are committed to cultivating a culture of belonging, addressing issues of incivility and exclusion, and promoting opportunities that advance our understanding of and guide our efforts to challenge systemic inequity within our lacrosse community.

In addition to their work on the Equity and Inclusion Statement, the RETF has taken several other steps to begin positively effecting change within the association:

  • Initiated a voter registration campaign in mid-August that included a video encouraging women’s lacrosse players and coaches to register to vote, as well as social media graphics containing voter registration information for each state.
  • Sponsored takeovers of the IWLCA Instagram account by Black, Indigenous, and other people of color on the 19th of each month in order to elevate a more diverse set of voices within the lacrosse community.
  • Surveyed women’s lacrosse coaches and student-athletes in order to assess the state of access, inclusion and equity in the collegiate game.
  • Proposed a Coaching Symposium for student-athletes of color in order to increase the pool of diverse coaches within the association.
  • Sponsored a professional development session for the IWLCA membership: “Time to Lead: Strategies for Inclusive Team Conversations and Environments,” and one for Board of Directors and Staff leadership: “Momentum Workshop: Inclusion, Equity, and Excellence,” both presented by Tomika Ferguson, Ph.D.

Mary Ann Meltzer, who co-chairs the RETF with Morgan, and is a member of the IWLCA Board of Directors, was quick to credit those that are working to initiate change. “Everyone on the task force has been willing to look critically at the current state of the IWLCA and make honest assessments about what changes need to occur and how that can be most effectively managed. The work will be ongoing, and in many cases,  it may take several years before we see results, but we’ve identified areas where we can do better and have begun the process of ensuring that our actions align with our values.”

You can follow the task force’s continued progress and provide feedback to the task force on the IWLCA website.

Racial Equity Task Force Members

Jessy Morgan, Co-Chair, Athletic Director, Garrison Forest School (Emeritus IWLCA Member)
Mary Ann Meltzer, Co-Chair, Head Coach, Lawrence Technological University (NAIA)
Ricky Fried, Head Coach, Georgetown University (Division I)
Zhané Ruffin, Assistant Coach, University of the District of Columbia (Division II)
Britt Brown, former student-athlete, University of Pennsylvania ’17 (Division I)
Celine Cunningham, Senior Associate Athletic Director/SWA, Bates College (Emeritus IWLCA Member)
Kayla Treanor, Assistant Coach, Boston College (Division I)
Alice Lee, Head Coach, Williams College (Division III)
Brian Smith, Associate Head Coach, Lindenwood University (Division II)
Malia Shimabukuro, Head Coach, Midland University (NAIA)
Abigail Jackson, Head Coach, Union College (Division III)