UW-River Falls athletics and ROI announce partnership for 2020-21 academic year

ROI offers online diversity and inclusion courses designed for college athletic departments

NEW YORK – Athletic director Crystal Lanning has announced that UW-River Falls athletics has partnered with Return On Inclusion™ (ROI) as part of an on-going effort to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for its student-athletes.

“Though there is a great focus on diversity, equity and inclusion right now across the country, it has been a focus for our athletics department as a whole for a while and something we see as a priority,” said Associate Athletics Director, Kellen Wells-Mangold. “The ROI program meets our needs right now in that we can’t bring experts to campus to help us focus on these things, but we can utilize this platform to learn and grow as a department for the benefit of our staff, student-athletes, and campus community as a whole.”

Divided into six self-paced online modules, Return On Inclusion provides comprehensive diversity and inclusion training designed for college athletic departments. Participants receive instruction on a variety of topics, including: cultural competency, overcoming bias, microaggressions, racism, privilege, LGBTQ+ inclusion, gender stereotypes and inclusive leadership.

Instruction in all six modules is provided by ROI founder Nevin Caple, a national thought leader on diversity, inclusion and belonging in sport. The curriculum was developed by Caple in collaboration with the ROI advisory board – a diverse collection of college athletics administrators and scholars from around the country.

"I am thrilled to share ROI with the community I care so deeply about,” Caple said. “We should all have access to the tools we need to do our jobs most effectively. I hope ROI will serve as a catalyst for many institutions to prioritize learning for coaches, athletic administrators, and staff as they embark on their inclusive leadership journey."

As coaches and administrators complete the training, they will be better equipped to support and mentor student-athletes from diverse social and cultural backgrounds. Participants who complete all six modules earn the ROI Inclusive Leader Certificate.

“UW-River Falls Athletics is grateful to have such outstanding campus partners in our Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging,” Wells-Mangold said. “They helped make this program possible. We look forward to them joining us in meaningful discussions about how we can continue to support all of our student-athletes and staff, so everyone can show up as their authentic selves in an environment that is welcoming, safe, and inclusive.”

About Return on Inclusion

Return On Inclusion™ (ROI) is a sport-specific diversity and inclusion education platform dedicated to developing inclusive leaders and fostering a culture of belonging across social and cultural differences. Our self-paced modules standardize learning methods, deepening our commitment to helping every coach and athletic administrator develop the skills and competencies necessary to support student-athletes and achieve inclusive excellence in programs, policies and practices.

The ROI Advisory Board includes national thought leaders in college athletics who have made significant contributions to fostering inclusive teams and programs. Board members include: Board Chair Resa Lovelace (Maryland), DaWon Baker (Nebraska), Isa Berardo (Pomona-Pitzer), Cherish Burks (Alabama), Clyde Doughty (Bowie State), Kim Doran (Ohio State), Jessica Duff (Bates), Jaide-Hinds Clarke (Richmond), Katie Harbert (Oregon), Noah Knight (Kansas City Athletics), Yannick Kluch (Rowan), Jacqie McWilliams (CIAA), John Square (GW), Maria Sanchez (Northwestern), Whitney Johnson (NCAA).

Visit roinclusion.com or follow @ROInclusion on Twitter for more information.

Return On Inclusion Press Contact: 

Kyle Chilton (he/him)