NIRSA’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Commission is excited to announce the arrival of the first in-depth, robust resource guide for equity, diversity, and inclusion that is specific to the field of campus recreation.

The publication Equity, Diversity & Inclusion: A resource guide for Leaders in Collegiate Recreation compiles foundational concepts, research-driven best practices, and case studies to help campus recreation professionals develop competencies around EDI—for their own personal and professional growth as well as for their departments.


The guide first introduces the major concepts involved in EDI; it also introduces the Commission’s Identity Wheel, which is a model for understanding and advancing EDI. The second part of the guide focuses on providing a common language and terminology for the identities most frequently served by campuses and in recreation departments across North America.

Recognizing that every person, department, and campus is at a different place in their journey and in their understanding of this work, each identity is also discussed in the context of three levels.

  • Level I – Awareness This provides general terminology and shared language so that, by speaking the same language and deepening our understanding, we can begin to share conversations and move towards deeper dialogue.
  • Level II – Inclusion This level provides probing questions and resources so that you can move from learning and understanding to actively working to include everyone on campus in your recreation center and program offerings.
  • Level III – Advocacy This level provides resources and examples to help you empower others, eliminate barriers, and progress toward creating access and equal opportunities for others to be fulling included.

The third part of this resource guide contains approximately 40 case studies—all based on actual examples of situations that have occurred in campus recreation departments in the US and Canada. Over 100 case studies were submitted by Commissioners and NIRSA members over the past few years. Thank you for your contributions to this work!

The case studies are one of the most salient and practical parts of this resource guide. Campus recreation professionals can use these case studies in several ways: with their staff to create awareness around EDI-related issues that are occurring in collegiate recreation; in conversations with fellow NIRSA members on the relevance of EDI within our profession; and in their own personal development by identifying and understanding the many layers of EDI competencies necessary in our work.

The full resource guide embodies much of the good work cultivated during the 2016 NIRSA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Summit.

A living document

As work in this area is rarely ‘complete,’ it’s expected that this guide and its resources will evolve over time as well. In that spirit, a second edition of this guide is expected after the NIRSA 2019 Annual Conference. That draft will include a full references section and additional resources. If, after conference, you have a comment for consideration please be sure to reach out to a member of the EDI Commission.

Learn more at NIRSA 2019

This year, at NIRSA 2019, don’t miss the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Commission’s Town Hall session on Monday, February 18 at 8:00am in Room 202 of the Hynes Convention Center.

The Commission will be introducing the resource guide and helping attendees explore its many features. There will also be an opportunity to walk through some of the case studies and better understand how this tool can be used within your departments and with your staff.

Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships at |

Erin O'Sullivan is currently the Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships at NIRSA.