Document Type

Research Report

Original Publication Date


Date of Submission

May 2017


VCU distinguishes itself as being one of Virginia’s most diverse institutions of higher education. This project seeks to support and extend this wonderful attribute by encouraging a climate of equity and inclusiveness. If You Can, You Can creates a common platform and language in support of the university’s mission to address disparities concerning equality and inclusiveness, and provides a model that is useful in promoting all dimensions of diversity. In addition to developing this overarching model, Team Real Connections worked with the VCU Athletics department to implement a prototype program called “If you can play, you can play,” which promotes inclusivity for those in the LGBTQ community within athletics. That initiative is comprised of the following components: ● the production of a marketing video to introduce and promote the campaign ● the submission of the video to the national “You Can Play” project ( ● a survey assessing how VCU athletes perceive the current climate in athletics ● training sessions with athletic coaches and staff to promote awareness and advocacy for the LGBTQ community ● dissemination of posters, postcards, and wristbands to promote the campaign and publicize events ● programs in October (LGBTQ History Month) with speakers Pat Griffin and Hudson Taylor to bring further awareness to the importance of inclusivity ● promotion of the campaign and events at various athletic events The success of the prototype campaign demonstrates that If You Can, You Can has the potential to serve as a comprehensive platform for units around VCU who wish to promote inclusivity and equity along other dimensions of diversity. Ultimately, the team envisions a university-wide initiative that unites VCU in achieving its goal of becoming a premier urban research university where everyone is welcomed, supported, and valued.

Is Part Of

VCU L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs Publications