For several years, I wrote (sporadically) about diversity and inclusion issues as they pertained to sport and physical activity. In doing so, I attempted to link current events with the current state of scholarship. In other cases, I simply commented on the happenings of the day, offering my two cents. While the blog started with good intentions, I simply did not keep up with it. In fact, it has been one year since a post was written.
On this one year of inactivity anniversary, I have decided to give the Diversity in Sport Blog another college try, but with a different focus. One problem with the previous blog was my belief that I was contributing little beyond the existing conversation. Many people have blogs, including those focusing on diversity in sport and physical activity. They have written for years and have a very loyal following. Erin Buzuvis and Kristine Newhall's Title IX Blog comes immediately to mind, as does Pat Griffin's LGBT Sport Blog. Their work is very good, timely, and insightful.
While I add little value beyond these commentaries, I can contribute in other ways: namely, through the distillation of academic work into a product consumable by everyone. I find considerable value in academic works, but they are frequently written in ways that make them less-than-friendly for other potential users. As a result, many of the intended beneficiaries do not have access to the work. A number of research agencies have noted this gap and even developed grant programs aimed at better disseminating important research information and findings. The National Institutes of Health, for example, note that "more present than ever within the research community is the belief that to optimize public health we must not only understand how to create the best interventions, but how to ensure that they are effectively delivered within clinical and community practice." The same is true for research focusing on diversity and inclusion in sport.
And, this is an area in which (1) there is a gap, and (2) I can potentially make a meaningful contribution. Owing to the nature of my work, I read quite a bit. Increasingly, I have had practice in distilling the academic jargon into something more tenable for a broader audience. This practice comes from writing textbooks, teaching classes, interacting with donors, and so on.
Thus, for the next year, I'll seek to provide a weekly update on scholarship in the area of diversity and inclusion in sport. This will include an overview of the work, as well as potential implications for persons working or participating in sport. Fifty-two posts should provide a good litmus test for how the blog is progressing and whether the need I perceive for this kind of work actually exists.
I hope you find it helpful, that you will offer feedback, and perhaps most importantly, that you actually use the work to your benefit.