Diversity Committee

The Diversity Committee ensures access for and accountability of and to all members, providing members the opportunity to bring diversity, equity and inclusion related issues to the Executive Committee. The Diversity Committee is comprised of an appointed member of the Executive Committee to serve as chairperson and NEACSM members with interest and expertise in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

 

The Diversity Committee Chair is responsible for:

  • convening and leading Diversity Committee meetings and discussions

  • identifying areas of inequity within the chapter and the profession

  • offering actionable initiatives for fostering and sustaining diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural competency.

  • expanding and/or developing resources to share with membership.

  • drafting language for official chapter pronouncements related to DEI issues.

  • providing a platform/amplification for under-represented issues and individuals.

  • serving as a liaison for membership, to bring DEI-related concerns, experiences, and suggestions from individual members and the professional community to the attention of the EC.

  • advising Executive Committee and recommending strategies for addressing inequities, under-representation in chapter business.

The Diversity Committee is a key component of the NEACSM's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as indicated in the Chapter's Strategic Plan and Vision Statement, which reads as follows: "The New England Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine will be a leader in the advancement, interpretation, and integration of research in exercise science and sports medicine. We will create a culture embracing diversity and inclusion and promote professional development of our members and community."

See our Statement Against Racial Injustice and Call to Action (released June 5, 2020) here.

DEI Initiatives

The Diversity Committee has identified several areas of immediate and intersecting focus: increasing racial and ethnic diversity in our membership and leadership; increasing student involvement and representation in our programming and leadership; and creating better access to conference programming for those who experience physical, financial, and other barriers to access. Our Committee is also strongly committed to addressing underrepresentation in our organization and profession as relates to gender, sexuality, and physical ability.

 

Here are some of the efforts NEACSM and the Diversity Committee are currently making to address these priorities:

 

Financial commitment.

  • The NEACSM offers a Minority Scholarship that awards $1,000 annually to students from racial minority backgrounds.

  • The NEACSM applied for and won two grants from ACSM in 2021 that are focused on DEI. Both grant initiatives include matching funds from the NEACSM.

    • One grant-funded initiative funds the creation of Student Access Awards, which provide funding and mentorship for undergraduate and graduate students experiencing financial hardship. The goal is to create better access and more meaningful engagement for those students who might not otherwise be able to participate in NEACSM conferences. Our Student Rep Committee identified that this initiative would help target intersectional issues of underrepresentation faced by students in our community. A subcommittee from the Diversity Committee assesses submissions and determines winners. Learn more and apply here.

    • A second grant-funded project supports the creation of a high school and community college recruitment initiative. The initiative, which specifically targets under-resourced districts and in schools that majority racial/ethnic minority students, builds relationships between the NEACSM and schools and teachers, bringing NEACSM professionals to classrooms via video or in person to introduce students to exercise science and sports medicine-related careers. It also funds student travel to and registration for our Fall Conference, where they will meet with mentors.

 

Intentional programming:

  • Our Strategic Plan, completed in 2019, prioritizes diversity and inclusion as our organizing principles for all the work we do. Our leadership commits to informing and framing our approach to service, growth, and professional development through the lens of diversity and inclusion.

  • The Diversity Committee advises the Executive Leadership Team on a regular, on-going basis. In particular, the Committee ensures that there are deliberate steps taken in conference planning to recruit and feature speakers from a variety of social identities, with an emphasis on amplifying underrepresented voices and increasing racial and ethnic diversity and representation. 

  • Members of the Diversity Committee regularly and intentionally contribute to programming at conferences, including facilitating community conversations about equity, student-focused panels, and a variety of featured and general session presentations focused on race, gender, sexuality, and disability. For more specifics, see our conference program brochures here

Growing a more diverse leadership: 

  • NEACSM offers leadership mentoring for young professionals (including leadership workshops at the fall conferences), and coordinators take deliberate steps to recruit and support individuals from underrepresented social identities.

  • The Diversity Committee has a special partnership with the Student Rep Committee and collaborates and supports regularly to advance student engagement and opportunity. Students represent our most diverse demographic, and we are working hard to support their continued engagement and success in our organization.

We know we have much more work to do, and we welcome your ideas about additional steps we can take to address diversity, equity, access, and inclusion in our organization. ​

Want to learn more or join the committee? Contact Chair Katie Burton here

Essential Reading

Check out these texts for foundational ideas about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the ACSM and the profession.