UW Student-Athletes Talk About Diversity & Inclusion

Feb. 1, 2016

LARAMIE, Wyo. - As part of the Excellence at 7220 programming, a Sunday brunch was held on Sunday, January 31, 2016 from Noon-1 pm for student-athletes and Black Student Alliance (BSA) members as well as Martin Luther King, Jr. Days of Dialogue (MLK DOD) Planning Committee members. The student-athletes and guests enjoyed brunch together and then engaged in the programming titled: Diversity & Inclusion. Much of the program was centered on the week of MLK DOD on the UW campus the week of February 1, 2016.

The gathering was strategically calendared the Sunday before the MLK DOD week so that student-athletes could be well-informed and educated on the programming, speakers, workshops, etc. that were planned for the week of February 1st. A few of the MLK DOD Planning Committee members provided an overview to the student-athletes, about several of the sessions offered (e.g. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., The Man, The Myth, The Message; Where Do We Go From Here- A Beginner’s Guide to Activism; Keynote Speaker Jessica Valenti, etc.) that the student-athletes should consider attending.

The keynote speaker at the brunch was Dr. Deborah McGriff, an Associate Professor, Doctoral Program Coordinator in the Department of Professional Studies. Dr. McGriff has taught at the University of Wyoming for 28 years. She talked with the student-athletes about community, challenged them to get engaged in the community of Laramie/UW Campus/Department of Athletics, to stretch themselves by getting involved, to speak out when they see injustice, to be viewed as a leader as a student-athlete whether you think that or not and to make memories on campus. Dr. McGriff talked about Martin Luther King, Jr. and cited several of his quotes. She talked about that as a young, African American girl growing up in Louisiana, her parents would have never dreamed she would have earned a PhD at the University of Wyoming and become a Professor. She has seen a lot change in her 28 years at UW and in Laramie and shared with the student-athletes, some of the change. Dr. McGriff was very inspiring and motivating.

Each semester, the Excellence at 7220 Executive Committee, hosts a Sunday brunch for student-athletes. Various topics are presented during these brunches. The student-athletes, BSA guests, faculty/staff that were in attendance, were truly inspired to attend at least one session of the MLK DOD week on the UW campus.