Diversity Council | Graduate Assistant Program | Diversity Education

"The celebration of diversity is one of our very dearly held core values. Our sense of community is enriched by the collective cultural differences and backgrounds of the individuals we bring to this campus. We recognize that the diversity of those individuals provides a greater perspective and a more complete experience for all of us." 

- Joe Castiglione, Director of Athletics

Athletics Diversity Council

The University of Oklahoma Athletics Diversity Council, comprised of employees within the university and athletics department, was established in the fall of 2004. The creation of the council was the result of a stated goal in the 2004 five-year Minority Issues Plan, as part of the NCAA certification process.

Appreciation of Diversity is an athletics department core value and the council is charged with supporting this core value through advising on departmental diversity initiatives, designed to increase awareness and promote the importance of diversity to the organization and its individual members. The athletics diversity council strives to create a working environment where issues of diversity can be discussed comfortably while respecting differing opinions and views.

The council meets regularly to discuss various issues and advises the athletics department staff and coaches on programs and educational initiatives that support our desire to build and maintain an inclusive and diverse environment.

ADC Graduate Assistant Program
The ADC Graduate Assistantship program, one of several initiatives created by the ADC, was implemented to increase the diversity of potential job candidates in the field of athletics administration. Each year this program selects two participants from a national pool of applicants to pursue their graduate degree while devoting 30 hours per week for four semesters working in the athletics department.

Bridge Builders
Bridge Builders is the first and only organization for, about, and run by African-American student-athletes at the University of Oklahoma. The mission of Bridge Builders is to effectively address and find solutions to the academic, athletic, social, cultural and emotional issues unique to African-American student-athletes. For student-athletes to meet their full potential, the following seven core topic areas, when developed, should help in the process: spiritually, health, politics, education, economics, activism and community involvement.

Bridge Builders is heavily involved in community service including charitable organizations within the Norman and Oklahoma City area; and two schools from the Norman Public School District.

Diversity Education Program
Education and awareness of diversity to all athletics department employees is important. That is why in 2005, the Diversity Education Program was started. Each year every department within athletics nominates one individual to participate in the program. The program is designed to enhance one of the core values of the Athletics Department, "Appreciation of Diversity." Each monthly session focuses on developing a greater understanding of the overall issues in diversity and how to work as a cohesive unit free of prejudice and discrimination. The sessions begin in October and run through May. The group meets once a month for lunch sessions moderated by Dr. Penny Pasque.

OU Athletics Diversity Programs

McClendon Center for Intercollegiate Athletics | 180 W Brooks, Norman, OK 73019
Phone: (405) 325-8798 | Email: athleticsdiversityco@ou.edu