Recognizing Oppression A Workshop on Cultural Diversity within Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Jenny Lind Withycombe Withycombe Consulting
Dr. Jenny Lind Withycombe BA – Psychology MA – Teaching G. Crt – Women’s Studies PhD – Sport and Exercise Sciences Foci: Cultural Studies, Africana Studies Diversity Consultant NCAA and Constituents 4 Year Varsity Rower 3x All-American (First Team) 4 Year National-Scholar Athlete First Rower to be named Female Athlete of the Year WU Record Holder Team Captain
Diversity in US Intercollegiate Sport Minority student-athletes, coaches, and administrators Gender, Race, Sexual Orientation, and/or Culture Understanding Sport Experiences Diversity and Athletic Participation Lead to Empowerment Diversity Shaping Identities and Experiences My task
Diversity Education and Sport for Development Sport for Development and Peace Perspectives of US Intercollegiate Student-Athletes Encouraging the Use of Sport for Social Change Recognizing the Oppression Defining Your Role Facilitating Change
Learning Objectives for Diversity Education Understand the dynamics of privilege and how it is manifested in society and within intercollegiate athletics. Understand the impact that stereotypes, discrimination, and oppression have on the daily lives and performance of all student-athletes and athletic staff. Recognizing who is the center of power within both the macro- and micro-communities of intercollegiate athletics. Develop a willingness to interrupt instances of discrimination that occur within intercollegiate athletics. Encourage behaviors that demonstrate acceptance and respect for all people.
Defining Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion Culture is… Way of life in a given society passed down from one generation to the next through learning and experience. Diversity is… Collection of similarities and differences we carry with us at all times, based on the characteristics we were born with, the experiences we have had, and the choices we have made. Inclusion is… Inclusion can be defined as the process of ensuring that people feel included and valued in an organization or a community. Quantitative versus Qualitative Equality
Value If you work hard you will be successful. Meritocracy: The idea that despite “unequally distributed opportunities and impediments…good choices, effort, and ambition alone are responsible for success” (Harris, 2004, p. 16). Gender, racial, sexual orientation, and class oppression is a significant problem for student-athletes, coaches, and administrators. “Sport is a contradictory space…the resilience of the notion that sport takes place on a level playing field, outside the relations of inequality and oppression, is necessary in [prejudicially] inscribed societies that deem themselves not [prejudiced]. However, the persistence of [prejudice] is inextricably tied to claims of the absence of [prejudice].” (Douglas, 2003, p. 9) It is easy to spot oppression. Overt and Covert Oppression
Making Connections Why do you think these three statements were grouped together? If you work hard you will be successful. Gender, racial, sexual orientation, and class oppression is a significant problem for student-athletes, coaches, and administrators. It is easy to spot oppression.
Current Issues: Race and Culture Increasing numbers of student-athletes of color More international student-athletes than ever before Underrepresentation of student-athletes, coaches, and administrators of color in positions of power both on and off the field Recruiting and Retention Stereotyping and oppression Ambiguous institutional climate with regards to diversity and inclusion Varied levels of commitment to creating a more inclusive environment Lack of understanding and appreciation for individual backgrounds and cultures (e.g. communication styles, hiring practices, hierarchies, retention, time orientation, religion, gender, etc.)
Current Issues: Gender and Sexuality Increasing numbers of female student-athletes Sexist/Homophobic language and behaviors Romantic peer and/or coach-athlete involvements Same-sex, cross-sex Title IX Gender specific coaching Variability in standards Intersex Issues Pregnancy Underrepresentation of female student-athletes, coaches, and administrators in positions of power both on and off the field
Gender, Sexuality, and Power Stereotypically Male Characteristics Stereotypically Female Characteristics To Control Men… To Control Women…
Stereotypes: A Social Creation We must accept that… Stereotypes are socially constructed and implemented Stereotypes can create both conscious and unconscious biases Stereotypes have power whether we personally accept them or not Stereotypes can keep us from having new experiences
Others Types of Stereotypes Stereotyping in its many forms: Race Class Religion What is our responsibility with regards to stereotyping?
Institutional/Organizational Culture What is the culture of your institution/organization? What is it like to be a member of the majority within your institution/organization? What is it like to be a member within your institution/organization whose culture lies in part outside the “mainstream”? What is the institutional/organizational culture of your various departments? How does that compare to the larger organization? Or the community in which you reside?
White Privilege List some forms of White privilege White Privilege: Advantages, opportunities, or benefits bestowed upon a person due to their racial classification as White Try to think of at least one form of White privilege related to sport
McIntosh’s White Privilege I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed. When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization," I am shown that people of my color made it what it is. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group. I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance or feared.
“White privilege is like an invisible knapsack of special provisions, assurances, tools, maps, guides, codebooks, passports, visas, clothes, compasses, emergency gear, and blank checks” (McIntosh, 1988, p. 1).
Others Types of Privilege Privilege in its many forms: Gender Sexual Orientation Class What is our responsibility with regards to privilege?
Sport for Social Change Reflections Oppression is deeply embedded within US culture Oppression and issues of diversity are often denied, minimized, and justified within US sport Younger generations need help connecting the US’s history of racism, classism, sexism, and heterosexism to today’s socio-cultural issues Current athletic personnel want to make a difference using sport, but they need strong leadership and guidance
It is the collective power of individuals that makes change happen