McFadden facilitates NIRSA’s summit on equity, diversity and inclusion

The assistant professor of sport and event management played a prominent role in the November conference, promoting activities and discussions designed to advance the organization’s social justice initiatives.

Cara McFadden, an assistant professor in Elon University’s Department of Sport and Event Management, attended this fall’s Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Summit of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, facilitating many of the activities and discussions surrounding the two-day event.

Tanya Williams (left), an experienced social justice educator, and Cara McFadden, an assistant professor at Elon University, pose together during this fall’s NIRSA Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Summit in Atlanta. Photo courtesy of McFadden

​Accompanied by leaders in the recreation, sport and wellness fields, NIRSA’s EDI Commission gathered in Atlanta in early November to discuss strategies, educational tools and curricula designed to help the members of the collegiate recreational sports organization promote social justice initiatives on their respective campus communities.

“We worked collectively during the two days to explore equity, diversity and inclusion as they relate to collegiate recreation environments as well as began the development of learning goals for NIRSA members, professionals and students,” said McFadden. “The schedule included areas that focused on brave spaces, self-awareness, socialization, civil discourse, equity and equality, developmental sequencing and learning goal development.”

According to McFadden, NIRSA is working with Tanya Williams, a hired consultant and experienced social justice educator, to help advance NIRSA’s position relative to issues of social justice. Williams attended the summit to help turn discussions and ideas expressed by attendees into accessible resources for NIRSA members.

McFadden has been actively involved in NIRSA for more than 15 years, serving the association in various leadership positions. Most recently, she organized four days’ worth of programming for the 2016 NIRSA Annual Conference & Recreational Sports Expo. Previously, McFadden served as a member of the organization’s Assembly, member for the Research and Assessment Committee, faculty for the National School of Collegiate Recreation, and co-chair for the Leadership Commission.

NIRSA is widely considered the leading resource for professional and student development, education and research in collegiate recreational sports.