GLVC Recommits to Listen, Learn, Lead and Love for Diversity and Inclusion
INDIANAPOLIS – The Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) announced Wednesday the release of a new campaign entitled “Listen, Learn, Lead, Love” that will be a building block for the league’s continued commitment to diversity and inclusion. The Conference also revealed a 30-second public service announcement for the campaign, which includes the creation of new GLVC skin tone logos that will be incorporated into the league’s overall branding efforts.
In addition, the GLVC announced an initial action plan to address racism and social justice, in light of the tragic events that continue to occur across the country.
“Each of our GLVC student-athletes and institutional representatives have the opportunity to respond in a meaningful and impactful manner to the racial and social challenges facing our country,” said GLVC Commissioner Jim Naumovich. “We believe this action plan is an important step needed to inspire all of our stakeholders to be at the forefront of promoting and implementing substantive change within their team, campus, community, league, and nationally. The world of intercollegiate athletics is full of talented individuals with the “can do” mentality needed to be bold, courageous, and willing to do something different. We are excited to tap into this potential.”
The Conference’s latest PSA, which was once again produced by Greers N Motion in Evansville, Indiana, begins with a capital L converging from all corners of the screen and colored in each of the four skin tones used in the new mark. The messages “We Must Come Together” and “We Must Empower” are displayed in the middle. When the four letters connect as a block, the league’s four directives – Listen, Learn, Lead, Love – are shown, followed by the GLVC’s new secondary wordmark.
“The messaging in the new video is simple in concept, yet so important given the challenges we are still facing in the battle against racism,” Naumovich said. “We look to empower our 15 member institutions to come together and listen to each other, learn from one another, both lead as one unit while recognizing the importance of empowering our students to lead, and in the end, continue to love each other as a GLVC family.”
The GLVC devised its action plan based on three themes – the new “Listen, Learn, Lead, Love” concept, as well as the league’s “GLVC Family” and “Someone to Listen” campaigns that have been used over the last two years. In addition to the new 30-second PSA, the Conference will also produce a 60-second “GLVC Family” themed spot while continuing to embrace its three-minute “GLVC Family” video starring University of Southern Indiana President Dr. Ronald Rochon, which was put into circulation prior to the 2019-20 season.
“Someone to Listen” returns in 2020-21 to discuss racism and social injustice in the form of virtual town halls on the GLVC Sports Network (GLVCSN). Initially designed as a mental health awareness campaign, which earned second place out of 21 finalists for the NCAA DII Award of Excellence in 2019, “Someone to Listen” expanded this past season in an effort to provide GLVC student-athletes, coaches and administrators a platform on which to share their thoughts on the sudden cancellation of the 2020 spring season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the midst of both a global health and social health crisis, we have seen tomorrow’s leaders become today’s voice,” said Naumovich. “Now more than ever, we must seek input from and listen to our students with our most intentional effort.”
Also included in the league’s evolving action plan is a new social media campaign, incorporation of the new skin tone marks on signage and apparel at all GLVC Championships, the creation of student programming focused on character and leadership development, expanded responsibilities of the league’s three minority interns this season, and a significant increase in the composition of the GLVC Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
The GLVC Diversity and Inclusion Committee was originally created as part of the GLVC Strategic Plan in 2017. In that plan, the league identified diversity and inclusion as one of its five core values, which read in part that “the GLVC is committed to a diverse and inclusive environment for our student-athletes, coaches and administrators. As a conference, we seek to establish and maintain an inclusive culture that fosters equitable participation for student-athletes and career opportunities for officials, coaches and administrators from diverse experiences and backgrounds.” The GLVC Diversity and Inclusion Committee recommended the funding of two scholarships for institutional representatives to attend the NCAA Inclusion Forum beginning in 2018. The Conference has also incorporated presentations from LGBT SportSafe and the NCAA Office of Inclusion at multiple league meetings, streamed a Discussion on Diversity and Inclusion on GLVCSN from the 2016 GLVC Fall Meeting, and allocated conference grant funding to retain female and minority interns in the league office for the past 12 years.