Next Step Mini-Forum

The BWSF’s Next Step Mini-Forum is a professional development and preparation program designed to help increase the participation and percentage of women of color as collegiate head coaches and athletic administrators at 4-year National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) institutions. Networking opportunities abound and information is plentiful as panelists of accomplished women from all areas of the world of sport - coaches, athletes, physicians, educators, administrators and others - and those who aspire to those roles, gather on college and university campuses, and other locations, across the country, to discuss requirements, environments, achievements, aspirations, challenges, and choices.

Originally launched in 2002, the first Next Step program was held September 6-8, at Norfolk State University. Funded by the NCAA’s Division of Diversity and Inclusion, subsequent events were held in Philadelphia, PA; Kansas City, KS; and Norfolk, VA, with funding provided from different divisions of the NCAA. It was during BWSF’s co-hosting of the symposium, “Women of Color: Recruit, Retain, Results,” in 2008, when findings prompted the organization to re-design the format from a single week-end program to its current mini-forum style, with four-hour sessions held in various locations. The revised structure allowed for greater outreach and events have been held at institutions across the country, including the states of California, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

Attendees at mini-forums range from student athletes and students pursuing degrees in sports-related fields to high school and collegiate coaches to administrators and officials in the field. At its core, the BWSF Next Step Mini-Forums help women to become empowered, enlightened and educated about the world of sport. Contact the BWSF office for information on hosting an event for your institution or organization.