The CEVA Diversity & Inclusion Committee, the CEVA Board of Directors, and the CEVA full-time staff have been working diligently on implementing a number of initiatives and policies as part of Phase 1 of the CEVA DEI Action Plan. This article serves to update our membership on the status of selected Phase 1 projects, as well as introduce Phase 2 (longer-term) initiatives.
- CEVA has added language to the Participant/Spectator Code of Conduct specifically addressing racism and discriminatory actions, as well as the display of traditionally offensive symbols, such as the Confederate Flag. This document is posted on CEVA’s website and will be posted during all CEVA-sanctioned tournaments in the 2020-2021 season.
- CEVA is actively working to generate interest from BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) individuals to serve on the Board of Directors and in other administrative positions. CEVA’s current Board and full-time staff is 100% white and we recognize the need for a more diverse perspective.
- A three-person group is working on a DEI training regimen for CEVA Head Officials and CEVA Tournament Directors, to be implemented in the 2020-2021 season.
- CEVA has made an active effort to share more diverse viewpoints on our social media channels, as well as diversify our overall social media following.
- CEVA has formalized a policy requiring annual DEI training for the full-time office staff. The staff has attending training the last two years and this is codifying an existing practice.
- CEVA has declared that Juneteenth and Election Day will be paid holidays for the staff, and both staff and BOD members will commit to seeking available volunteer opportunities in the community to mark those days.
- CEVA has enhanced the #VTC section of our website and has created more digital collateral available for all to use.
- CEVA now requires clubs to acknowledge their commitment to anti-racism and anti-discrimination practices in their club as part of their club activation process.
- CEVA distributed a list of DEI training resources to each club and asked clubs to have conversations with their players and families on topics such as racism, discrimination, bullying, etc.
- CEVA has developed a donation platform for anybody to give to our scholarship funds, including the #VolleyTheChange Scholarship Fund.
- CEVA has officially launched a partnership with Starlings Volleyball USA in an effort to provide more opportunities for under-served communities in our region.
In addition to the initiatives above, CEVA is also working on a number of longer-term projects as part of Phase 2 of this plan. Among them:
- CEVA will begin publishing monthly newsletters in September highlighting a number of region programs and highlights. These newsletters will include a dedicated section for DEI education.
- CEVA is finalizing two grant programs that will work to send minority coaches to the AVCA Convention and USAV CAP Clinics. Our goal is to begin these programs in the 2020-2021 season, contingent on funding.
- CEVA is in the planning stages of developing an equipment grant program that will allow clubs in under-served areas to get access to new or lightly-used volleyball equipment free of charge. Our goal is to begin this program in the Spring or Summer of 2021.
- CEVA is developing a program that will allow club coaches to network, learn, and form mentoring relationships with collegiate and other high-level coaches throughout the nation. This can include attending matches, practices, one-on-one in-person or virtual meetings, and other interactions within current policies.
- CEVA is in the formative stages of a project that would develop a low-cost youth volleyball league in under-served communities throughout the region. Our goal is to begin this program in Fall of 2021, contingent on funding, partnerships, and other circumstances.
CEVA remains committed to driving positive change in our sport and our community. While this article doesn’t hit every project we’re working on, we look forward to seeing the results of the efforts of our committees, Board, volunteers, and staff.