August 28, 2020

Athletics’ Racial Equality Group Builds Awareness

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State Athletics Racial Equality Group, a subcommittee of Buckeye Inclusion, continues to support student-athletes as they organize and participate in racial equality awareness, education and engagement. This assemblage of staff members from across Athletics and Business Advancement also provides coaches and staff with education, training and awareness opportunities striving for racial equality and equitable practices.

“Our Racial Equality Group members are committed to emphasizing the importance of diversity and inclusion by providing resources and collaborating with our campus community,” T.J. Shelton, Senior Associate A.D. and co-chair of the Racial Equality Group, said. “We aim to support our student-athletes, coaches and staff by providing a safe space for candid conversations and developing solutions which promote respect and true acceptance to strengthen our communities.”

Gene Smith, Senior Vice President & Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletics Director, hosted a virtual town hall meeting with all student-athletes, sharing his thoughts on racial injustice and answering questions from the student-athlete body. This early June engagement was followed by another safe space conversation later in the month as Congresswoman Joyce Beatty and Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin held a discussion with the Buckeye student-athletes as well.

Education efforts by the Racial Equality Group have also come in the form of implicit bias training required for all Athletics and Business Advancement staff members with additional education provided by the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity.

The group’s tasks continue to evolve and include, but are not limited to supporting student-athlete led events, civic engagement for both students and staff, and supporting coaches with program conversations on race and social justice and equity.

Buckeye Inclusion has spread its reach to the central Ohio community as well, raising nearly $2,000 for local charities which share the same core values and similar missions. The funds were accrued via sales of ‘EQUALITY’ apparel officially licensed by Nike. A second round of sales is now open to the public and will remain so until Sunday, Sept. 13 at 11:59 p.m. ET. CLICK HERE to purchase.