CARBONDALE, Ill. — Saluki Athletics announced the creation of Saluki Unity, a student-athlete led organization that will focus on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. The group consists of more than 10 student-athletes and is supported by the existing 30-member Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

Saluki Unity will focus on four topics — racial and social justice, LGBTQ issues, women’s empowerment, and mental health and well-being. Group discussions will involve mentors from within the athletic department, including basketball staffers Jevon Mamon and Ken Moses, golf coach Danielle Kaufman, Associate AD Katie Gerlach, Faculty Athletic Representative Dr. Julie Partridge and track & field coach Rosalind Joseph.

“As leaders within the campus community, we recognize the tremendous potential Saluki Athletics has to positively impact our University,” Director of Athletics Liz Jarnigan said. “Our student-athletes and staff feel a strong sense of responsibility to help advance the discussion of these important topics.”

The group will report to SAAC and regularly meet with Jarnigan, academic coordinator Connor James, and other members of the administrative staff.

“SAAC and the Saluki Unity sub-committee are a collective force for good,” James said. “Their passion to make things better and to influence real change in the world around them has been relentless.”

According to James, Saluki Unity envisions an athletic culture that embraces diversity and inclusion for all its members and seeks to encourage growth through collaboration, education and engagement.

The Saluki Unity group is part of a larger departmental effort to address prevailing social issues. Jarnigan leads the department’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee that consists of more than 20 athletics staff. The committee focuses on addressing athletic department policies as they relate to equity and diversity, in addition to providing listening space for student-athletes, and planning for continued implementation of initiatives throughout the year.

All athletic teams and athletic department staff are scheduled to complete anti-racism and anti-bias training this fall through the office of Associate Chancellor for Diversity Todd Bryson.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,