See the Power and Potential of Diversity and Inclusion

Workshops

Our workshops combine extensive academic training with cutting-edge research, technology, and best practices. We are a collection of highly qualified educators with varied backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. We believe strongly in the idea that education be used as a vehicle for social justice. This occurs when a multi- and inter-disciplinary approach is used to provide real-life teaching and application strategies to relevant topics within diversity, education, and athletics.

Most institutions would be challenged to find another company with a background as specialized and relevant as ours with the same level of real-life as well as academic-research experience.

“Jenny, you did an excellent job with the Drexel groups. I thought your presentation was modern, relevant and well done. You have a great style and talent for this. We just reviewed your inclusion definition at our monthly staff meeting; I liked it so much I wanted everyone to hear it again.”

Dr. Eric A. Zillmer, Athletic Director and Carl R. Pacifico, Professor of Neuropsychology
DREXEL UNIVERSITY

Workshop Objectives

Our goal is to make the most difficult and overwhelming topics accessible. We meet each institution and individual where they are. When we talk about being conscious and focused about the cultures we create, we realize the importance of small gestures. In today’s society we do not always have the time, energy, or resources for extensive action. It is important to realize that the small things can make the biggest impact.

For example: Many colleges/universities struggle to recruit and retain racial diversity, particularly those situated in rural areas. Even when these institutions do bring in recruits, they often lose them within 1-2 years. Reasons cited by these student-athletes, coaches, and administrators are a lack of community, access to food, religion, music, clothing, hair care, and many other critical aspects of each person’s culture.

While we often feel defensive about such things (e.g., as told to me by one Athletic Director, “It’s not like I can open a salon or control what music is played on the radio!”) we have far more control than we realize. For the aforementioned AD I recommended that s/he allow his/her student athletes to create playlists (one for each team) to be played on a certain day and time on the campus radio station – something s/he did have influence over. A small gesture changed the way many of the student-athletes viewed not only the AD and the athletic department but the entire university campus.

Workshop Logistics

All Diversity and Inclusion workshops are built and adapted to meet the needs of the college/university and follow a prescribed method of implementation.

Workshops begin with a speaker and audience introduction followed by a topical icebreaker. Important assumptions regarding diversity and inclusion as well as the topic of discussion are covered. Specific learner objectives are explained as well as the benefits of diversity and inclusion in educational institutions and athletic departments. Significant concepts are defined, as is the reasoning behind using unified language in order to create and sustain effective change.

Once the introductory materials are completed, participants engage in several interactive activities that target central concepts and ideas regarding stereotypes, assumptions, oppression, and sustaining change. Participants are led through activities that help them assess the cultural climate of their departments and institutions. Where relevant, short video clips are included and discussed to enhance certain ideas.

“It was important to work with someone who really understands college athletics, and Dr. Withycombe brought great credibility as a former Division III competitor. She connected very well with our student-athletes and was not afraid to engage them in a way that was appropriate and challenging on a topic where many think they have ‘heard it all’.”

Donna M. Ledwin, Commissioner
ALLEGHENY MOUNTAIN COLLEGIATE CONFERENCE

Workshops conclude by interactively focusing on methods and forms of oppression, scenarios, and planning for sustained change. Although sustaining change is covered in the diversity workshops, the information is very brief and only begins to scratch the surface of what would be provided under the consulting services, which target more focused aspects of Diversity and Inclusion strategic planning.

New: Implementation Day!

A new service being offered by Withycombe Consulting is the Diversity and Inclusion Implementation Day. After attending a diversity and inclusion workshop, participants/teams are invited to add on the implementation day and work one-on-one with Dr. Withycombe to create an action plan for change and/or ask questions and gain clarification.

“Dr. Withycombe brought a wonderful mix of theory, real-world ideas and practical thinking to the Council for Responsible Sport’s social standards. She is a leader in the field and we can’t wait to work with her on more projects.”

Catherine Humblet, Managing Director
COUNCIL FOR RESPONSIBLE SPORT

Keynote Speaking

Working in diversity and inclusion continually kindles our passion for working through social justice issues within and around education and athletics. We are able to offer something very unique to our constituents in terms of diversity and inclusion education and consultation services. Our base of athletic, academic, and research experiences have provided us with a diversified lens through which to view issues of gender, race, class, sexual orientation, and culture.

Dr. Withycombe is frequently asked to speak to large groups around the United States and Europe on issues of Diversity and Inclusion within the realm of sport. Dr. Withycombe’s interactive lecture style makes her a dynamic and engaging speaker.

Presentation for NCAA Violence Prevention Summit

Consulting/Strategic Planning

Although a base level method of strategic planning is facilitated during our workshops, we also work with colleges/universities to create strategic plans. For example, part of developing an effective strategic plan involves sustaining it. Many colleges/universities are not aware of the various resources at their disposal both within the campus community and the community at large.

By providing more than diversity and inclusion educational workshops and lectures, we also help network and build long-lasting relationships to continue the promotion of diversity and inclusion once “the consultants leave.” By helping to develop these relationships onsite we are better able to provide long-term assistance for sustaining change.

Additionally, our consultants help colleges and universities develop and expand current strategic plans. Although many such plans focus on quantitative measures of evaluating diversity efforts, those colleges and universities committed to truly enhancing diversity and inclusion on their campuses must take into account the quality of their student-athletes’, coaches’, staffs’, and administrators’ experiences.

By providing education, planning, and sustainability we help colleges and universities embrace the philosophy of both diversity AND inclusion as well as create more dynamic and effective working, learning, and playing environments.