GW Athletics & ROI Announce Partnership

GW is first A-10 member to partner with sport-specific diversity and inclusion education platform

WASHINGTON – GW Athletics has reinforced its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion with a department-wide partnership with Return On Inclusion (ROI) that will deliver online sport-specific education on these crucial topics to all of its coaches, administrators and staff.

Members of the GW Athletics DEI Task Force have already begun the training, which was developed by ROI founder Nevin Caple. In the coming weeks, the rest of the department will begin a journey meant to provide a baseline education and foster conversation aimed at developing inclusion strategies to support student-athletes and creating inclusive environments across its community.

GW becomes the first member of the Atlantic 10 to partner with ROI.

"We believe that our competitive advantage can be found in how we treat one another–and this important work with ROI is the next step on this journey of trying to create a more inclusive community," GW Director of Athletics Tanya Vogel said. "We recognize that we need to prioritize learning, individually and collectively, as we continue in our quest to better understand each other and grow as an environment that is inclusive, supportive of diversity and fosters a culture of belonging. Through these modules, Nevin has brought to life what I see as a very practical tool to help bring people to a level standard of understanding."

Since its launch in October 2020, ROI has emerged as an industry leader, helping administrators, coaches, and staff at athletics organizations of all levels develop the leadership skills to support student-athletes across social and cultural differences.

The training is broken down into six modules, aimed at personal and personal growth through self-reflection exercises, case studies, best practices, knowledge retention quizzes and discussion guides for group participation. Participants who complete the coursework earn the ROI Inclusive Leader Certificate.

GW Athletics Senior Associate Athletics Director Internal Operations/ Athletic Diversity and Inclusion Designee John Square serves as advisory board chair for ROI.

"What's special is we are embarking on this together," Square said. "Everybody has a different understanding of what DEI is and how it impacts student-athletes. Through this platform specifically designed for college athletics, we will all be getting the same information and building a common language that's going to make a positive impact on our culture of inclusion and belonging and ultimately our student-athlete experience."

All coursework is facilitated by Caple, a national thought leader on diversity, inclusion and belonging in sport.

She has spent the last decade working as a keynote speaker and a consultant helping college athletic programs to develop inclusion strategies and create more inclusive environments for student-athletes.

In 2019, Caple visited GW as a guest speaker for the department's spring kickoff event and to provide training on LGBTQ+ inclusion, and she has maintained relationships within the Buff and Blue community ever since.

"GW is creating an environment where social justice is present for everyone," Caple said. "When you have a leadership team that prioritizes inclusion and belonging, everyone benefits and gains access to the tools needed to do their jobs most effectively. ROI is thrilled to partner with GW in support of these efforts as coaches, administrators, and staff embark on their inclusive leadership journey."

About Return on Inclusion

Return On Inclusion™ (ROI) is a sport-specific diversity and inclusion education platform dedicated to developing inclusive leaders and fostering a culture of belonging across social and cultural differences. Our self-paced modules standardize learning methods, deepening our commitment to helping every coach and athletic administrator develop the skills and competencies necessary to support student-athletes and achieve inclusive excellence in programs, policies and practices.

In November 2021, ROI and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) announced a groundbreaking partnership to advance diversity and inclusion in college athletics. NACDA endorsed the ROI platform for individual and department-wide use for NACDA and affiliate members across the country.

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