A small, private religious school was hosting a women’s athletic event when a group of students began harassing the opposing team as they arrived for the contest. The harassment included racial and misogynistic epithets, and police and school officials were called to the scene. That night, social media activity picked up around the incident, catching the school off guard as the story went viral and garnered national attention. The school engaged BMCG the next day for strategic communications support and broad, institution-wide DEI initiatives development.

Actions / Recommendations:

  • Worked with school leadership on an immediate statement, condemning the actions and promising an investigation.
  • Developed an approach, including an independent investigation, to deal with the incident and hold students accountable.
  • Helped leaders not overreact to criticism and take a deliberate and measured look at its DEI strategy
  • Developed a communications strategy to roll out the findings of the investigation.


Messages from leaders were well received in the immediate aftermath, despite some skepticism regarding the school’s past DEI failings. The broader strategy helped mollify discontent as well as position the school to affect meaningful change around DEI. As the findings were announced, both internal and external stakeholders were very positive about the actions the school had taken, setting it up for success in its broader efforts.