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My name is Yannick Kluch (Ph.D., Bowling Green State University) and I am a scholar-activist, educator, and consultant with a passion for knowledge, higher education, sport, and diversity and inclusion leadership. After having held positions at the Office of Inclusion at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Center for Sports Communication & Social Impact at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey, I currently serve as Assistant Professor for Sport Leadership and Director of Outreach & Inclusive Excellence in the Center for Sport Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.
My research is focused on utilizing the potential of sport as a vehicle for inclusive leadership and social change as well as on eliminating barriers to social justice in sport. Specifically, my areas of expertise include socio-cultural studies of sport and physical culture(s), athlete activism, sport policy, and equity, diversity, and inclusion in U.S. and global sport. My research has been published (or is forthcoming) in Interactions: Studies in Communication & Culture, The Journal of Popular Culture, International Review of Qualitative Research, Psychology of Sport & Exercise, Sport Management Education Journal, Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, Case Studies in Sport Management, and Communication & Sport. I have presented my research at various national and international conferences, including the annual conventions of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, the North American Society for Sport Management, the National Communication Association, and the International Association for Communication & Sport.
As an intersection of my research, teaching, and service at BGSU, I founded We Are One Team (WA1T) in 2015. We Are One Team (WA1T) is a first-of-its-kind initiative that utilizes sport to promote diversity, inclusion, and social justice on American college campuses. The initiative has provided me with a platform to translate my research to non-academic audiences and speak on issues related to sport, diversity, inclusion, social justice, and athlete activism at outlets such as the NCAA Inclusion Forum (2017, 2018) and the NCAA Annual Convention (2017). Under my leadership, We Are One Team (WA1T) has received numerous awards, including the national 2017 NCAA Award for Diversity and Inclusion.
In 2020, I was one of only four national experts appointed by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) to serve on the inaugural Team USA Council on Racial & Social Justice alongside 40 Team USA athletes, where I am advising the Council’s steering committee on athlete protests and demonstrations alongside over 40 Olympic and Paralympic athletes. The recommendations I helped develop for the Council have led the USOPC to no longer sanction athletes who choose to protest for racial and social justice during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
As a consultant focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in sport, I have worked with organizations such as the NCAA, USOPC, USA Diving, the Women's Collegiate Gymnastics Association, and countless athletic departments across the country to drive inclusive excellence through the power of sport.
i look forward to hearing from you!