Published: Jan. 20, 2023

The University of Colorado Athletic Department has earned honorable mention recognition on an Award for Diversity from the NCAA and the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association.

CU Athletics diversity, equity and inclusion program staff

CU Athletics diversity, equity and inclusion program staff, left to right: Diandra Walker, DEI associate; DaWon Baker, associate athletic director of DEI; Donovan Wilson, McLendon Future Leader; and Taylor Langley, assistant director of psychological health and performance and DEI coordinator. 

The award recognizes the initiatives, policies and practices of schools and conference offices that embrace diversity and inclusion across intercollegiate athletics. This can be achieved through community service, professional development, hiring practices or programming activities that enhance opportunities for people of diverse cultures, backgrounds and experiences.

"This award helps confirm that we are on the correct path, and that our DEI efforts are not just great here at CU but stack up nationally," said DaWon Baker, associate athletic director for diversity, equity and inclusion for CU Athletics. "This will give us the momentum and push necessary to continue to make inclusion a part of every decision made within CU Athletics."

For the CU athletes, the increase in commitment is noticeable. For Jaida "Money" Drame, a CU track and field athlete, it's a difference maker, especially for student-athletes who are people of color at CU. "I can see the priority of DEI here in CU athletics. You can see how the wellbeing of our POC student-athletes has greatly benefited here at CU with the changes and additional support for the efforts."

Major components of CU's application included CUnited (CU Athletics inclusive hiring process) and the ongoing awareness that CU Athletics brings to cultural heritages throughout the year.

Annually, the NCAA and MOAA will award a winner and a number of schools and/or conferences with honorable mentions. The award can help guide efforts, as well as provide schools and conferences with examples of intentional DEI work.

Learn more about CU Athletics DEI department and initiatives, and donate to CU Athletics DEI initiatives.