Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Mission Statement

USA Volleyball is committed to being a leader within the volleyball world and beyond by increasing and celebrating diversity, actively addressing any inequities within the organization and the sport, and creating an environment of inclusion in which all people feel safe, respected and valued. USA Volleyball is devoted to:

Prioritizing diversity by understanding USA Volleyball's current demographics, setting target goals in key areas, and establishing a plan to increase representation and voice of underrepresented groups at all levels of play and leadership.

Increasing equity by finding new strategies around lowering the barriers to entry, offering resources and creating opportunities for members of historically marginalized communities to get involved in and/or advance in the sport.

Creating a culture of inclusion by establishing culturally competent training and educational resources across the organization and membership, as well as implementing proactive policies and operations within USA Volleyball and its regions.

Committees

In order to reach our DEI goals, USA Volleyball has established three committees.

  1. USA Volleyball Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force: A board-level committee focusing on DEI issues across the sport in the United States
  2. USA Volleyball Staff DEI Team: Comprised of USAV staff and an athlete representative, this team is committed to individual and organizational staff efforts to build respect, fairness, dignity and equality by creating awareness and challenging beliefs through education and training.
  3. USA Volleyball RVAA Diversity and Inclusion Task Force: This task force consists of region commissioners, minority club directors from boys and girls clubs, minority Olympic athletes, and a member of the USAV Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force. The task force was formed to research and offer information, resources and recommendations on ways to bring awareness to discrimination and increase playing, coaching and leadership opportunities for minority and underserved populations. More information can be found on the RVAA website.

Programs and Initiatives

The USOPC awarded USA Volleyball with the 2020 DEI Choice Award. The award recognizes a National Governing Body (NGB) or high performance management organization (HPMO) for best practices in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, as determined by a vote of NGB and HPMO peers. USAV won the award based on its 2019 grant of $400,000 to Historically Black Colleges and Universities to help launch Division I and II men's volleyball programs. Read more about the award.

In September 2019, the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAC) announced the addition of men's volleyball as the league's 14th-sponsored sport. The addition was possible because of a $1 million grant from First Point Volleyball Foundation and USA Volleyball. The league is scheduled to begin in the 2020-21 season. Read more about the grant.

Partnerships and Collaborations

Starlings, Inc.: The mission of Starlings Volleyball, USA is to positively impact the lives of at-risk girls through the sport of volleyball.

External Resources

Terminology

Need to brush up on your terminology? Read James E. Wright's The Language of Inclusion (PDF)

Organizations Specializing in DEI and Sport

  • RISE
    • Take note of RISE's digital learning series, which covers bias, equality vs. equity, empathy, identity, leadership, privilege, racism, sports as a vehicle for change. Topics are covered via readings, video and interactive activities.
  • Inclusion Playbook
    • Watch for upcoming webinars.

Professional Training Organizations

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Top TED Talks

YouTube: Inclusion Starts with "I"

Vollequality: Take the Pledge

Implicit Bias

Microaggressions

Mental Health

Intersex Awareness

LGBTQ Resources

  • Supporting LGBT Youth - National Education Association
  • Gender Spectrum
  • Disability

    National Coming Out Day External Resources

    According to the Human Rights Campaign, National Coming Out Day was first observed 32 years ago on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. The day served as a reminder that one of the LGBTQ+ community's most basic tools is the power of coming out. 

    Nonprofit Athlete Ally shared these sobering statistics:

    • More than 80% of people have witnessed or experienced homophobia in sports (Athlete Ally)
    • LGBTQ+ youth are twice as likely to drop out of sports compared to their heterosexual peers (Athlete Ally)
    • About 28% of LGBTQ+ student-athletes report having been harassed or assaulted while playing on a school sports team because of their sexual orientation or gender expression (Athlete Ally)
    • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth are more than 4x more likely to attempt suicide than their peers (Trevor Project)
    • Accepting adults decrease the risk of LGBTQ+ youth attempting suicide by 40% (Trevor Project)

    Learn more with these resources: