NEWBURGH – Mount Saint Mary College’s Investigating Research on Campus (iROC) series has explored a wide variety of topics this fall, from examining business sustainability to delving into the lesser known works of Edith Wharton.
R. Scott Russell, assistant professor of Sports Management at the Mount, recently added to the diverse collection of presentations with his presentation, “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Sport.”
From sport origins in ancient Greece to early collegiate sport, Russell examined the history of both exclusion and diversity in sport. He went on to discuss not only diversifying sports, but also the significance of all teammates feeling equally important to the team.
“The idea with inclusion isn’t just being part of a group. It’s not good enough to just have somebody be part of a group – that’s diversity,” Russell explained. “Inclusion is when you actually feel like you’re part of the group,” and have the same sense of belonging regardless of social categorizations such as race, class, sexual orientation, etc.
After an overview of what professional sports are currently doing to work on cultural diversity, Russell ended his talk with Nelson Mandela’s words on the power of sports: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.”
Russell believes sports having the power to inspire is the most important point of Mandela’s words: “For me, that’s really what sport should be all about when we talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion,” he noted.