The recent social unrest in our country has compelled US Lacrosse to provide greater leadership to address the challenges of systemic racism that exist in the sport.

Historically, US Lacrosse has invested significantly in programs and resources that have increased access to the sport. The organization has also used its media assets as a platform to advocate for the values of diversity, equity and inclusion. However, little has been done to address racism within our organization and the sport.

Over the past month, US Lacrosse staff members have engaged in unprecedented dialogue on racism and white privilege, within and outside of lacrosse, and a number of colleagues and friends have bravely shared personal examples of the challenges they have endured throughout their lives. 

The People of Color within our staff recently met as a group to discuss and recommend strategies to mitigate implicit bias and eliminate racism within the organization, and we have given a great deal of thought as to how recent tragedies can empower US Lacrosse to lead a sustained effort to eliminate racism from the sport. 

As a result, our Board of Directors and staff leadership have endorsed the following statement:

US Lacrosse affirms its obligation to denounce all forms of racism and oppression. As part of our anti-racism commitment, we will purposefully identify and challenge racism and its impact on our organization and the broader lacrosse community. We will seek to identify, understand and correct any racial and ethnic biases or inequities within our systems, policies and processes. We will strive to provide ongoing education and training opportunities rooted in cultural competency and inclusion. And, we will develop and implement strategies and best practices focused on eliminating racism at all levels of our sport.

US Lacrosse Board of Directors and staff are united in the pursuit of racial and social justice and we will continue to support and empower our coaches, officials, administrators, players and members in their pursuit of this collaborative goal.

This reflective process has also led to a number of related action steps the organization will pursue now and into the future. Initial priorities, which will continue to evolve, are focused in four key areas: staffing, volunteer leadership, mission and operations. A partial list of those priorities follows:

Staffing

  • Create a new staff position and related job description – Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – that will report directly to the CEO. Eboni Preston-Laurent, a former collegiate player and coach who most recently served as Senior Manager of Diversity and Inclusion, has been promoted to this new role.
  • Enforce policies that mandate an inclusive hiring process for all US Lacrosse staff positions and include People of Color on interview panels.
  • Hold each staff unit accountable for achieving specific goals within their respective areas and report success against those goals as a primary staff performance indicator.

Volunteer Leadership

  • Review, evolve and enforce diversity policy related to the composition of all aspects of the organization’s national volunteer structure.
  • Mandate an inclusive hiring process for U.S. team coach and support staff positions and assure equitable opportunities for player tryouts and team selections with the goal of fielding U.S. teams that look more like America’s ethnic landscape.
  • Require cultural competency and diversity training for all who serve within the US Lacrosse volunteer structure.

Operations

  • Establish and adhere to policies that require diversity, equity and inclusion factors in the selection of sponsors, partners and suppliers.
  • Incorporate a permanent display on the contributions of African American players, coaches, officials and contributors in the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame and Museum.

Mission

  • Measure diversity and inclusion investment and related success metrics across all areas of operation annually; assure all resource allocations are equitable and inclusive.
  • Assure that all US Lacrosse print, digital and social media content (photographs, videos, etc.) consistently depict lacrosse as an inclusive sport.
  • Translate US Lacrosse resources and media content into other languages.
  • Develop a Cultural Competency course specifically designed for youth players.
  • Develop best-practice anti-racism policy and related resources that organizations and leagues can adopt as a consistent framework across the sport.

For additional information on US Lacrosse diversity, equality and inclusion efforts, please visit our web site: https://www.uslacrosse.org/diversity-inclusion