The national protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in 2020 shined a light on issues of racism and discrimination in American society. In turn, many Black athletes and coaches in the lacrosse community shared their experiences in the sport, both positive and negative, and the IWLCA sought to make substantial advancements with regards to race in lacrosse moving forward, thus the Racial Equity Task Force was created.
In creating the Racial Equity Task Force (RETF), the IWLCA leadership has made a commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive culture that takes a united stand against racism, values everyone equally, and promotes and champions those underrepresented in the lacrosse community.
The RETF examines ways the association can fight against racism and facilitate inclusion of all people of color into the sport of lacrosse, and specifically into the collegiate coaching ranks. They are responsible for planning and implementing short-term changes in 2020-21 and crafting a sustainable strategy for securing the long-term goal of a diverse and inclusive association that recognizes the significant value of true equity.
IWLCA 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)
The IWLCA Board of Directors has voted to formally adopt an Equity and Inclusion Statement drafted by the Racial Equity Task Force (RETF). “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.
As of November 2, 2020, the RETF has taken several steps to begin positively effecting change within the association:
If you would like share your story, provide feedback, or suggest ideas to the task force, please click the envelope icon on the contact card below.