Train the Champion

Train the Champion Cohort 2019

ABOVE: The Train the Champion Class of 2019 at the November graduation ceremony.

Train the Champion

Now in its 11th year, the Train the Champion program is designed to develop diversity champions who will actively work to create a more welcoming and inclusive campus environment. The program is sponsored by the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity.

Under the program, staff and faculty from various departments and schools meet monthly during 90-minute lunchtime sessions to explore and discuss diversity issues. Sessions include guest speakers who discuss such topics as race, religion, gender, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and disability issues. The program provides an opportunity for engagement with members of the campus community around diversity differences.

Each year, up to 25 individuals are selected for the program, which begins in February and concludes in November with a graduation ceremony. The Train the Champion Program has been described as informative, valuable and transformative by past participants. Since its inception in 2011, nearly 300 CWRU staff and faculty have completed the program.

For more information about the program, contact the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity.

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The Details

In order to successfully complete the Train the Champion Program, participants are permitted to miss only two sessions. Unless otherwise noted, all sessions are held 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (excluding the Feb. session)

The sessions will be held on the third Wednesday of each month (with the exception of graduation) beginning in February.

  • Friday, February 17 (9:30 AM - 1:00 PM) 
  • Wednesday, March 15 (11:30 AM - 1:00 PM) 
  • Wednesday, April 19 (10:30 - 11:30 AM) 
  • Wednesday, May 17  (11:30 AM - 1:00 PM) 
  • Wednesday, June 21  (11:30 AM - 1:00 PM) 
  • Wednesday, July 19  (11:30 AM - 1:00 PM) 
  • Wednesday, August 16  (11:30 AM - 1:00 PM) 
  • Wednesday, September 20  (11:30 AM - 1:00 PM) 
  • Wednesday, October 18  (11:30 AM - 1:00 PM) 
  • Wednesday, November 15  (11:30 AM - 1:00 PM) 

Your direct supervisor must be aware of the program and support your full participation.

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About the Program

Diversity encompasses a variety of areas, from race and ethnicity to gender and age. The Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity (OIDEO), through its Train the Champion program, is working to spread knowledge across campus about the various dimensions of diversity. 

The Train the Champion program:

  • Fosters an environment which is inclusive of various dimensions of diversity;
  • Assists with retention and recruitment of faculty and staff;
  • Encourages overall workplace satisfaction; and
  • Promotes dialogue on campus about diversity issues.

Introduced in 2011, the OIDEO Train the Champion program is designed to help faculty and staff learn how to be leaders in creating a more welcoming and inclusive environment on campus. 

The 11-month long program begins in January and concludes in November with a graduation ceremony. Each year, about 25 individuals are selected to participate. Program participants meet monthly during 90-minute lunchtime sessions in which they explore various aspects of diversity. Session topics include race, LGBT issues, gender, disability issues and others.   

All CWRU faculty and staff are encouraged to apply to the program. 

For more information about the program, contact G. Tiara Sargeant, Diversity Program Manager.



"Train the Champion has been a wonderful experience that I am using to continuously challenge myself and others around me.”
— Class of 2015 Graduate Richard Pazol, Associate Director, University Counseling Service

"I have appreciated the opportunity to participate in Train the Champion and to have met so many others from the campus community who are advocates of diversity. The breadth of the workshops also added to its strength."
— Class of 2014 Graduate Sarah S. Andrews, Senior Instructor and Director of School Social Work, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.

"I participated in the program because I believe in its mission to embrace all dimensions of diversity. The promotion of diversity on campus is critical to the university's success."
— Class of 2011 Graduate Gladys Haddad, professor of American Studies

"The Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity sounds the trumpet, but the mission needs to be carried out in the trenches by faculty and staff. Train the Champion will provide tools and perspective that will help make change happen."
— Class of 2011 Graduate Dan Anker, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Human Resources, School of Medicine