When Mónica Lebrón assumed the role of deputy athletics director and chief operating officer for Tulane University athletics in 2016, one of her prime goals was to ensure that Tulane’s 350 student-athletes had the best college experience possible, both on and off the field.
One of those off-the-field experiences occurred in June 2020 with the creation of the Green Wave Justice for All program, following the murder of George Floyd by police officers and the social unrest that ensued across the country.
“We held several Zoom meetings with our student-athletes and with our staff,” Lebrón said. “We wanted to be sure we were there for one another while also encouraging everyone’s voice to be heard. From those meetings, we determined that in order to see a change in the systemic racism that exists in our society, we must turn our talk into action and accountability.”
From those meetings, the Green Wave Justice for All: Action and Accountability Plan was born. To help facilitate that plan, Lebrón took the reins as the Athletics Department’s first chief diversity officer, her aim to help deliver on a promise to foster a more diverse, equitable, inclusive and just environment at Tulane.
However, she would not act alone. “Fostering that kind of environment is the responsibility and obligation of everyone, both at Tulane and beyond.”
Lebrón has gotten off to a good start, establishing a Diversity Council consisting of 33 student-athletes and staff from each of Tulane’s nearly two dozen sports and throughout the department. The council meets every two weeks to discuss plans and has set its sights on such areas as voter education, diversity and inclusion training, and community service that addresses systemic racism.
“The student-athletes wanted to see immediate change,” she said. “They have been involved every step of the way and will continue to remain a driving force.
“As we accomplish goals, we will cross them off the list while constantly adding new goals. It is through these actions and in holding one another accountable that we will start to see a positive change in our world.”