North Central News

North Central College athletics program promotes diversity and justice with social media campaign

Laura Pohl

Dec 16, 2020

Stories with a purpose 

A new social media campaign is giving student-athletes, coaches and staff a platform to share their stories. And not just stories of hard work and competition, but personal perspectives on how racism, hatred and/or bigotry have impacted their lives. 

The social media campaign, Be the Change, was developed by the North Central College athletic department to create greater empathy and understanding throughout the College community and increase awareness of discriminatory behaviors.

“Be the Change has the capacity to become a valuable tool in the College's efforts to affect permanent cultural change in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said athletic director Jim Miller ’86. “Athletics has long been an umbrella under which people from many different backgrounds gather in pursuit of a common goal. Now our goal is to use the sharing of these experiences to further unify us and draw attention to the ways we can continue to do better.”

Be the Change is produced by the sports information department in association with the College's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force and the Athletics Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council. The content covers different topics each week and consists of informational graphics and video testimonials from student-athletes, coaches and/or staff.

Assistant Sports Information Director Andrew Sauer ’11/M ’14 oversees production, with help from sports information student-assistants Liz Wagner ’22 and Bry’Shawna Walker ’22. They’ve been instrumental in developing the concept and are contributing to direction and messaging.

“It has been inspiring to see people get behind this,” said Sports Information Director Clark Teuscher. “We’ve been blessed with student-athletes, coaches and staff members who have shown great courage in talking about real-life issues. And our team has embraced this moment as an opportunity to make a positive impact on the campus community and beyond.”

New entries in the series are published every two weeks, and are available on the North Central athletics website, the North Central athletics YouTube page, and the North Central athletics Twitter (@NCC_Athletics) and Instagram (@ncc_athletics) accounts. View archived editions of Be the Change content on the campaign web page.

North Central College women's wrestler Elizah Leonard appears in a Be the Change video.

Women's wrestler Elizah Leonard '24 gives an interview for Be the Change.