At Germantown Friends School, we believe that every young person deserves access to an inclusive athletics program and community, yet we know that that is not always the case locally, within our country, and across the world. We share this belief and hope with our peer schools within the Friends Schools League (FSL): Abington Friends, Academy of New Church, Friends' Central, Friends Select, George School, Moorestown Friends, Shipley School, and Westtown. Today, I am pleased to share a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plan created as a collaboration between these nine partners.
Over the summer, the FSL Equity and Anti-Racism Steering Committee came together and identified goals to bring about equity, justice, inclusion, and anti-racism within athletics. This fall, subcommittees comprised of passionate and thoughtful league athletic administrators and DEI experts identified action items and began working on bringing this work to life, even during this unusual year for sports.
Committee details are included in this memo from the league, with highlights including:
- Student Engagement: Charged with amplifying the voices of student-athletes across FSL member schools to help inform Athletic Directors with initiatives that are representative of the students' experiences.
- Coaches Coalition: A space to connect coaches of color with one another while seeking ways to support growth and future opportunities.
- Internship Programs for Increasing Access and Opportunity:
A group that will create partnerships with surrounding colleges and universities to increase opportunities for equitable representation of People of Color in decision making positions in the field of sport.
- Bias Incident Reporting and Accountability: Help provide clear protocols for a transparent process for reporting and responding to incidents of bias that occur within the FSL.
- Professional Development: Build opportunities for the development of student-athletes, coaches and administrators within the FSL that reinforce the mission of the league while promoting continued growth and education in areas of Equity and Inclusion.
I am grateful for leadership from our GFS team members Associate Athletic Director Mike Lintulahti and Assistant Athletic Director Dee Thomas-Palmer. Their collaboration and planning has been critical in building an enduring framework from which our league can expand our impact to the thousands of students, hundreds of coaches, and wider communities that play, practice, and compete in our care. Thank you also to Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Dr. Angela Campbell for her guidance, expertise, and support as we build upon our school's Actions for Equity plan in the Athletics space.
We have a lot of work to do in our shared goals and responsibility as an anti-racist league, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all student-athletes, coaches, officials, and fans and working towards making athletics truly inclusive and accessible for all.
Katie Bergstrom Mark
Director of Athletics