South Orange, N.J. – Seton Hall University Athletics is committed to the fight against racism and discrimination and is developing programming in collaboration with the campus community to help foster dialogue, education and forms of action that support diversity and inclusion. Falling under the Helping Athletes Learn to Lead (H.A.L.L.) Program curriculum, this new programming initiative is called “HALLin This TOGETHER” and will commence this fall.
A critical element to “HALLin This TOGETHER” is a new BIG EAST-wide partnership with RISE, a leading provider of educational programming that equips sports leaders to create positive change on matters of racism, social justice and equality. RISE will work with a newly created Athletics Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee to develop the programming. This committee will consist of student-athletes, coaches and administrators with the goal of empowering student-athletes to be leaders in creating change.
“Our position in higher education and intercollegiate athletics gives us a platform to educate and inspire change, and we intend to do all that we can so that racism and discrimination is eliminated from our country,” said Director of Athletics & Recreation Bryan Felt. “The focus groups we held in June produced a lot of open and honest dialogue about social injustice, and, from those conversations, we are setting forth a path to further listen, educate and act so that the Seton Hall Athletics community is prepared to change the world for the better.”
One initiative the department will activate upon the start of the fall semester will be participation in RISE’s “RISE TO VOTE” campaign to educate student-athletes on the history and importance of voting, how to register to vote and how to stay informed and civically engaged in the issues.
The department will also establish a new award that recognizes a student-athlete’s work to eliminate social injustice and champion diversity, equity and inclusivity. The new award will be called the Walter Dukes Integrity and Impact Award in honor of Seton Hall men’s basketball’s all-time leading rebounder who, as a black man, overcame constant battles with systemic racism to become an NCAA All-American for the Pirates in 1953. The first recipient of the Walter Dukes Integrity and Impact Award will be announced at the department’s annual SHUCademy Awards ceremony in the spring.
Other programming the department is working on for “HALLin This TOGETHER” in 2020-21 includes book and movie discussions, volunteer opportunities in communities of color, programming centered on Black History Month and guest speakers focusing on issues such as implicit bias, microaggressions and equity vs equality.